'I think Virat Kohli is probably the number one batsman across all formats. So I think to compare anybody to the way he plays is not right,' Bharat Arun said ahead of India's World Cup 2019 match against West Indies
Manchester: MS Dhoni’s slow batting against Afghanistan at the ICC World Cup 2019 was the talking point and even batting legend Sachin Tendulkar had said he was “slightly disappointed” as the wicketkeeper-batsman and Kedar Jadhav had failed to show “positive intent” during their partnership.
Also read: Full text of Bharat Arun's press conference
On Saturday (June 22), India were kept to 224/8 in 50 overs by Afghanistan. However, the bowlers delivered to bail the Virat Kohli-led team out. Mohammed Shami took a final-over hat-trick to help the team win by 11 runs in a thriller.
Also read: Full list of World Cup hat-tricks
Many had criticised Dhoni’s slow batting where he consumed 52 balls for his 28. His strike rate of 53.84 was the worst among Indian batsmen who had faced at least 10 balls against Afghanistan.
“I felt slightly disappointed, it could have been much better. I was also not happy with the partnership between Kedar and Dhoni, it was very slow. We batted 34 overs of spin bowling and scored 119 runs. This was one area where we didn’t look comfortable at all. There was no positive intent,” Tendulkar had told India Today.
With India set to face West Indies on Thursday (June 27), India's bowling coach Bharat Arun was asked about Dhoni’s slow batting in the pre-match conference. He was asked whether it was a big concern going forward in the 10-team tournament.
Arun said, “Not really. I think according to the situation and the condition of the wicket, we were able to successfully defend the total that we put up. And had we probably lost a wicket at that stage, then things would have turned out differently. So I don't think it's too much of a concern for us right now.”
When pointed out that captain Virat Kohli batted with more than 100 strike rate (67 off 63 balls), Arun said the two could not be compared.
“I think Virat Kohli is probably the number one batsman across all formats. So I think to compare anybody to the way he plays is not right,” he defended Dhoni.
To a query on whether the coaching staff had spoken to Dhoni, he said, “And there is a constant dialogue between all the batsmen, the support staff, the batting coach, the head coach — Ravi Shastri has a constant dialogue with all the coaches. I can't really get into the brass tacks of what we discuss, but yes if I have to answer your question, there is a constant dialogue for us to improve.”
Last Updated 8:30 PM IST