Rhodes: Dhoni still a very influential player

After former South African captain, AB de Villiers voiced his support for Dhoni, his compatriot Jonty Rhodes has joined the bandwagon. 

In the IPL 2018, Dhoni looked on top of his game notching up 455 runs in 15 innings at 75.83 but since then, he has produced a string of below-par performances for the national side.    -  K. R. Deepak

As the Indian team begins to take shape with the World Cup eight months away, Virat Kohli and the team management will have to grapple with the question of whether or not M.S. Dhoni is the No. 5 batsman the side needs going into the marquee event. 

The emergence of Rishabh Pant — given his flamboyant strokeplay at the death — means the selectors aren't short of options. That said, Dhoni continues to be the best wicketkeeper in the shortest format, with both Kohli and chairman of selectors, M.S.K Prasad, throwing their weight behind him.

READ| Rhodes: 'Kohli is a modern day great'

But the 37-year-old's ability to up the ante in the middle overs, which was once considered his biggest strength, has now become his Achilles heel. While he averages an impressive 50.62 in ODI cricket, his form in 2018 has been below par. In 10 ODI innings in 2018, Dhoni has scored just 225 runs at 28.13.

In the IPL 2018, Dhoni looked on top of his game notching up 455 runs in 15 innings at 75.83 but since then, he has produced a string of below-par performances for the national side. 

After former South African captain, AB de Villiers voiced his support for Dhoni, saying he "would play MS Dhoni in my team every day of every year. He can be 80, in a wheelchair, and he would still play for my team,", his compatriot and former South African all-rounder Jonty Rhodes has joined the bandwagon.  

"He (Dhoni) is still a very influential player. It is about where you make contributions and how you make them", Rhodes said. 

Suffice to say, Dhoni — his poor batting form notwithstanding — is India's first-choice limited-overs wicketkeeper-batsman, for now.