Former India batsman Sachin Tendulkar feels that MS Dhoni should bat at number five in the forthcoming ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup, which will begin on May 30 in England and Wales. “My personal opinion is Dhoni should be batting five. I still don’t know what the team combination would be, but if you are going Rohit and Shikhar as openers, to Virat (Kohli) at number 3 and whoever at number 4 then Dhoni could be No. 5,” ESPN Cricinfo quoted Tendulkar, as saying. “Then Hardik Pandya, an explosive player, follows them. That way the experienced batsmen are well spaced out and Dhoni can stretch the game towards the end where he himself can be explosive along with Hardik,” he added.
Tendulkar, who is the highest run-getter in both one-day international and Test cricket, also enunciated that India should use Shikhar Dhawan wisely as he is the only left-hander in the India batting line-up. When asked whether Dhawan should bat as deep as possible, Master Blaster said: “Yes, of course. A left-right combination always helps because that means the bowler has to adjust his line every now and then and the (bowling) captain has also to keep thinking. And if there is a partnership the job becomes even more tougher. So, yes, it is important for a left-hander to be there to put pressure on the legspinner or for that matter any bowler.”
Tendulkar also picked the teams he believes will go into the semi-finals of the premier tournament. “India, England, Australia should be in the semis. The fourth could be one of New Zealand or Pakistan,” he said. India will start will World Cup campaign against South Africa on June 5.