Dhoni: It’s tough to replace Bumrah

"I think it is very difficult to replace Bumrah. He has the strength of bowling yorkers at will and he has also contributed. (Ashish) Nehra has also contributed," said Dhoni.

Jasprit Bumrah (right) with his ability to bowl the yorkers consistently, has earned the praise of his captain, M. S. Dhoni.   -  PTI

An unbeaten six-ball 20 in the final was what Mahendra Singh Dhoni needed to remind everyone that he is still one of the best finishers in limited overs cricket. The Indian captain promoted himself to score the winning runs in the Asia Cup final against Bangladesh.

Known for his finishing ability and certitude in pressure situations, Dhoni conjured the big shots when India needed 22 in 14 balls. Like the Hellboy in a fit, Dhoni plundered two sixes and a four off Bangladesh’s strike bowler Al-Amin Hossain to finish the run chase with seven balls to spare and re-establish his credentials as a finisher.

Check out >India celebrating its Asia Cup win

“Well, it was what [that his finishing ability has waned] the media was saying. As I said, I can play the big shots. It is all about consistency,” Dhoni dismissed the doubters of his ability with inimitable nonchalance. “Let's say for example someone like Suresh Raina or Rohit Sharma. They can actually play the big shot right from the first delivery. Of course there are field restrictions so you can do that early in the innings. When you play in the subcontinent, the ball starts to reverse swing in the later part of the innings. It becomes more and more difficult to play the big shots right from the start with so many fielders outside. If I play 10 innings I can maybe do it in four or five innings. But there are people who can do it in seven innings,” he said.

Listen to Dhoni's interaction with the media
> Your browser does not support the audio tag

“I know a lot of people like to throw in a lot of stats but it will be interesting to see, in the last 50 years of Indian cricket, how many have been consistently doing that kind of a job. I think it is important for us to realise that it is a difficult job. Sometimes you criticise the individual too much but it is important to give him a fair run so that he can get exposed to the international format,” he added.

Terming the Asia Cup triumph a special one, Dhoni said the win will increase the confidence of the side ahead of the ICC World T20. “This win is special because of the circumstances as it comes before the World Cup. They (the Indian players) will know what has been really going well for them and what their strengths are,” he said. “And also the 10 wins (in 11 matches in two months) before the World Cup gave time to get into the groove. I have always said that from the T20 format you can get into the Test format but one of the most difficult things to do is to go from the Test format to the T20,” Dhoni added.

The Indian captain was satisfied about the bowling department. “We have been one team to stick with two spinners and three fast bowlers in this tournament and they have done really well in restricting. They have also picked wickets for us more often than not and I feel the spinners are always special irrespective of the format,” he said.

The skipper was evidently impressed by Jasprit Bumrah and said it’s tough to replace him in the squad. Dhoni wasn’t interested in tweaking the side before the World T20. “It (the team) looks very balanced as of now… The only reason he (Shami) was picked was because, he is someone who can deliver with the old and new ball, the yorkers being his strength. I think it is very difficult to replace Bumrah. He has the strength of bowling yorkers at will and he has also contributed. (Ashish) Nehra has also contributed,” he said.

Support Sportstar

Dear Reader,

Support our journalism — where text and pictures intermingle so seamlessly — and help us scale up your experience as the world changes around us. Your contribution is vital to our brand of uninfluenced, boots-on-the-ground reportage that’s worth your while. Clickbait sensationalism is not for us, but editorial independence is — we owe it to you.

Read the Free eBook

  Dugout videos