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India’s shorter format skipper MS Dhoni elevated himself in the third One-Day International (ODI) against New Zealand at Mohali on Sunday and played a resolute knock of 80 runs while chasing a target of 286 runs. Dhoni has been instrumental in the Indian batting line up and always scored plethora of runs when he bats higher up the order. Dhoni has been a prolific run-scorer when he bats at 4 and his average of 61.63 corroborates the belief. He gets time to get his eyes in and then looks to shift gears to wreck havoc on any bowling attack. Dhoni has batted lower down the order for most of the part in his career but has made an impact in the upper order.

In the post-match presentation, Dhoni opened up on his intentions to bat up in the order, he said, “Batting at No. 4 was more of my need than the team’s.” Dhoni further quipped, “It was important for me to express myself, something I wanted to do for a long time. If you are batting at No. 5 and 6, especially when your top order is batting so well, you don’t get a chance to bat how you want to bat. If it keeps on happening for a long time, tendency is you can’t fluently rotate strike and that was what was happening with my batting.” ALSO READ: India vs New Zealand, 3rd ODI: Amusing MS Dhoni and the game of phenomenal numbers

Dhoni also spoke about the pressure a a number six batsman goes through and said, “When you know you have just one batsman after you, you actually weigh in a lot of things. I have always said process is more important but at that slot it becomes result-oriented. That has actually hampered my batting to a lot of extent. It’s not easy to come out of that. I could have taken a few more innings (at No. 4) but it’s good that I have got runs (sooner). Personally also it is good for me to go out there and set the pace of the game. I can play shots over the fielders and that was something needed in my batting. We were having conversation among the team management about what we want to do and one was for me to play free cricket.” ALSO READ: India vs New Zealand 3rd ODI: Kiwis fight, Virat Kohli s 26th ODI ton, MS Dhoni s fifty and other highlights

Lately, Dhoni has not been rotating the strike freely as he used to do. On this he said, “It’s more often than not rotating the strike that is important. You want to play a lot of deliveries and the only chance is go up the order. It’s not only for my cricket, because if I am successful at No. 4, it gives the team a bit of liberty to score at a decent pace. ALSO READ: Virat Kohli s 26th ODI ton, MS Dhoni s brilliance helps India gain 2-1 lead against New Zealand

There is no doubt in running between the wickets when Dhoni and Kohli are at the crease. They run really hard and grab those cheeky singles, which puts the opposition under pressure. Further, Dhoni spoke about how good is it in batting with Kohli, he said “It also gives me the chance to bat with Virat. We run well between the wickets, we can take on even the best of fielders. Overall, I think this batting slot is more of my need than the team’s.”