Dean Jones: Dhoni should bat at No. 4

Dean Jones, currently a panellist on Star Sports Select Dugout, wants England to become humble and focus on doing its job right in the remaining league games of the ongoing World Cup.

Eoin Morgan and coach Trevor Bayliss during England's practice session in Birmingham.   -  Reuters Photo

I didn’t like the comments made by Jonny Bairstow recently, about players-turned-pundits wanting England to fail. It feels like he is looking for sympathy after a couple of losses. Bairstow has been around long enough to know how to handle the media. If he has a problem with what the media are saying or writing, then don’t watch television, don’t pick up the newspaper, and get off social media.

It’s as simple as that. What we have to say has no impact on a team's performance on the field.

The England team was bordering on arrogant coming into the World Cup, talking about piling up 400 and 500-run scores. Now they’re being dealt with a pill of humility. So in this scenario, it’s best to become humble and just go about your business.


While it is good to aim for 400-run totals, you also need to be able to adapt to different conditions. You cannot play big shots on pitches which offer turn or movement. Captain Eoin Morgan thought he could go ‘Tora! Tora! Tora!’ – an all-out attacking approach – against Australia, and ended up hooking Mitchell Starc and being caught on the boundary. England do not have a proper game plan. If plan 'A' does not work, a plan 'B' should be in place. That is not the case right now.

James Vince is a weakness at the top of the order. The team has been hurt by the unavailability of Jason Roy and Alex Hales, their absence has stymied England's progress so far in this tournament. I would open with Moeen Ali, and bring Liam Dawson into the eleven. Dawson is a good left-arm spinner, especially useful on this Birmingham pitch which could offer turn. Dawson is also a very good lower-order hitter.

As for India, I think M.S. Dhoni should bat at two-drop. Vijay Shankar has not quite come good. Yes, the No.4 spot has been a major problem for India, but it is very rare to have an engine firing on all 11 cylinders. You can go well on 8-9 cylinders, so there is no need to get too worried. As long as the top-three bowlers and batsmen get the job done, India will perform well.

(Tune in to Select Dugout on Star Sports Select 1 on India matchdays and Sundays)

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