IND v WI a big series for M. S. Dhoni, says Ganguly

The former India captain backs Dhoni to do well at the World Cup.

Lean run: M. S. Dhoni averages 28.12 in ODIs in 2018.   -  K. R. Deepak

The ongoing One-Day International series between India and Windies is a “big series” for M. S. Dhoni, former India captain Sourav Ganguly has said.

Looking ahead to the World Cup, Ganguly said: “I don’t know what combination they (the selectors and the team management) are thinking at. But I’m sure he (Dhoni) will do well in the World Cup. [The ODI series against Windies] is a big series for him.”

Ganguly was talking to PTI at the Barsapara Cricket Stadium while watching the first ODI with Assam governor Jagdish Mukhi.

Read: IND v WI series a good preparation for the World Cup, says Khaleel Ahmed

Of late, Dhoni’s batting hasn’t shone very brightly. In the Asia Cup, Dhoni batted four times, scoring 77 runs at an average of 19.25 and a strike-rate of 62.09. Overall in 2018, he has batted 10 times in 15 matches, registering an average of 28.12 and a strike rate of 67.36.

‘All about scoring runs’

Dhoni has an unimpressive record in the seaming conditions of England, where the World Cup will be held. He is yet to score a century in 20 ODIs; he averages 38.06, a sharp drop from his career average of 50.61.

“His overall record is very good,” Ganguly pointed out. “It (Dhoni’s selection) all depends how the players perform going ahead to the World Cup. It’s about scoring runs. That’s why [wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh] Pant has been given a chance,” he added.

The World Cup will be competitive, predicted Ganguly. “India are a good ODI side (sic). This World Cup will be worth watching. All teams play all and the best four go. It will be a competitive one,” he said.

Hosting its first ODI, the Assam Cricket Association invited Ganguly as the guest of honour. He was felicitated with traditional Assamese gamcha (towel) and xorai, an offering pot, which is a decorative symbol of Assam used for offering tamul pan (betel nut and leaves).

Ganguly also launched ACA’s souvenir.