Confident of Dhoni doing well in World Cup: Sourav Ganguly
Ganguly is confident of MS Dhoni delivering for India at next year's World Cup. (Getty Images)

Former captain Sourav Ganguly has backed MS Dhoni to come good for India at the World Cup next year. Ganguly, considered one of India’s finest captains mentioned that the 37-year-old wicketkeeper batsman remains an integral part of the Indian team and that the current series against West Indies is an important one for Dhoni.

“I don’t know what combination they are thinking at. But I’m sure he (Dhoni) will do well in the World Cup. It’s (against West Indies) big series for him,” Ganguly said.

Winner of all three major ICC tournaments – the World Cup, the World T20 and the Champions Trophy, Dhoni’s form with the bat has been under the scanner. After a fabulous outing for Chennai Super Kings (with 455 runs from 16 games including three half-centuries), and leading the team to its third IPL title, Dhoni has displayed a patchy form. In the three ODIs against England, Dhoni batted twice to manage 79 runs. In the second ODI at Lord’s as India were chasing 323 to win, Dhoni batted alarmingly slow to score 37 off 59 balls.

In the Asia Cup too, Dhoni accumulated 77 runs from four matches and an average of 28.12 and a strike rate of 67.36. However, the one stat that is really worrying is his average in England, where the World Cup will be staged next year. Dhoni has toured England four times since 2007, and from is yet to score a century in 20 ODIs. His average in England drops to 38.06 in comparison to his career average of 50.61. Even during India’s road to the Champions Trophy last year, Dhoni scored 67 runs from two games.

Ganguly however feels Dhoni can use his experience of having an overall record to his advantage and contribute in cricket’s biggest tournament that gets underway on May 30.

“His overall record is very good,” Ganguly pointed out. “It all depends how the players perform going ahead to the World Cup. It’s about scoring runs. That’s why Pant has been given a chance.”

With all top teams shaping well, Ganguly refrained to pick a favourite but predicted the World Cup to be a close one. “India are a good ODI side. This World Cup will be worth watching. All teams play all and the best four go. It will be a competitive one,” Ganguly said.