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'Dhoni will be a vital cog for India at World Cup' – Kiran More

India news

Kiran More, the former India wicket-keeper, has said that MS Dhoni will be a vital cog for the Indian team at the upcoming ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2019.

Dhoni played one of the most remarkable innings of the 2019 Indian Premier League, nearly chasing down 26 runs off the last over against Royal Challengers Bangalore on Sunday, 21 April.

Chennai eventually fell short by a run, but Dhoni’s 48-ball 84* showed More that he continued to be a lynchpin in every team he played for, despite his age.

“He was brilliant. It was an outstanding innings and only goes to show age is never a criteria,” More said. “Dhoni is in top form and age is just a number. Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid all played till late in their career and with distinction."

Dhoni is Chennai’s top-scorer this season, with 314 runs at 104.66, striking them at a little over 137. He has also been in terrific form for India in ODIs this year, where he has averaged 81.75 in eight innings.

It’s far from how the last year had panned out, where Dhoni struggled for runs, averaging 25 and striking at 71.42 after 13 outings. However, he has put that behind in 2019, when he has turned back the clock by finishing innings and winning games, both for India and for Chennai in the IPL.

MS Dhoni has turned back the clock in 2019 with his brutal hitting. © AFP
MS Dhoni has turned back the clock in 2019 with his brutal hitting. © AFP

His innings on Sunday took More back to 2006, when a brash and young Dhoni took international cricket by storm with his savage hitting. More had been responsible for Dhoni’s arrival at the international scene, when as national selector in 2004, he pushed for Dhoni’s inclusion in the national squad for the 2004 tour of Bangladesh.

Dhoni immediately validated that faith, with a century in his fifth game – 148 against Pakistan in Visakhapatnam in April 2005. A few months later, he struck a devastating 183* against Sri Lanka in Jaipur, which remains the highest score by a wicket-keeper in ODIs. 

"The innings took me back to 2006, and maybe around that time when a young Dhoni took the scene by storm," More said. "He will definitely be a vital cog for the Indian team at the World Cup.”

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