MS Dhoni
MS Dhoni (AFP Photo)

A spate of underwhelming performances with the bat have raised concerns over MS Dhoni‘s fading batting prowess. Former India batsman Sanjay Manjrekar reckons that it’s time to demote Dhoni in the batting order.

In the recently concluded Asia Cup 2018 which India went on to win, Dhoni scored 77 runs in four innings. While his cricketing acumen remains as sharp as ever, his ability to dictate the terms with the bat has been not up to the mark.

“At this stage Dhoni is not the world-beater that he was,” Manjrekar told ESPNcricinfo. “Just bat him down the order. In the Asia Cup final he should not have come ahead of Kedar Jadhav. Kedar is an in-form batsman, a pure batsman. Tone down your expectations from Dhoni the batsman.”

However, Manjrekar added that Dhoni’s wicketkeeping skills and experience make him indispensable, India should begin their hunt for his replacement.

“He [Dhoni] is a good keeper, stumping everything that comes his way. Virat Kohli needs a person around him – a man with all the experience – but his batting is clearly a problem and if India have an exciting option to replace Dhoni then they should start looking at it.”

Former India pacer Venkatesh Prasad has also said that Dhoni has to step up as as a batsman.”MS Dhoni will need to step up as a batsman. Although Rishabh Pant is waiting in the wings, Dhoni’s wicketkeeping skills remain sharp and a cut above the rest,” he wrote in his column for The Times of India.