Sourav Ganguly KL Rahul Ajinkya Rahane MS Dhoni Suresh Raina
Sourav Ganguly did not sound too comfortable about MS Dhoni’s contributions to the current Indian side © Getty Images

In his post-match analysis as official broadcaster, Sourav Ganguly criticised the Indian team management heavily for not “looking after” KL Rahul and Ajinkya Rahane. Analysing India’s defeat in the ODI series decider at Headingley, Ganguly added that constant experimentation in the middle-order has hurt India’s “top-heavy” batting order, referring to Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, and Virat Kohli.

“India are too top heavy at the moment. If your top-order doesn’t get runs, then you are struggling. It is a big issue. You have to have quality like England have,” said Ganguly. ”Eyes closed, I will have Rahul at four. Your top four have to be the best players and you got to persist with them. Go and speak to Rahul and say ‘we will give you 15 games’. Just go and play. They are not giving enough opportunities at the moment. Rahul got the fantastic hundred at Manchester and now he was dropped. You won’t be able to produce players like that.

“Same for Rahane. These are your two best batsmen. You have to have solid number four and five. Then you decide between Dinesh Karthik or MS Dhoni at six and Hardik Pandya at seven.”

“I think two of your best batsmen [Rahane and Rahul] are not being looked after properly. I am not saying it is deliberate but it is my opinion either of the two have to be played at four because it is too much of a pressure, especially on Rohit and Virat Kohli. In South Africa, India did well because Kohli got three hundreds. If he doesn’t get a hundred, you will have issues.”

Dhoni was not at his dynamic best went India needed him to deliver, at both Lord’s and Headingley. Ganguly insisted that if Dhoni has to up his game if he has to become India’s wicketkeeper of choice for the World Cup: ”If Dhoni has got to play then he has got to get in a position where he keeps hitting. If it is 24-25 overs and he has got to build an innings, he is struggling at the moment. He may turn it around as he has been a great player for India but at the present he is not turning it around enough and this has been going on for more than an year.”

Ganguly was not too keen on Suresh Raina‘s prospects: ”With all due respect, I think there are better players around. He has played for a long period of time. He has got runs in ODIs, not many overseas, but India need to look ahead.”

(with inputs from PTI)