No place for MS Dhoni in Sunil Gavaskar’s India XI for New Zealand T20I series




Sunil Gavaskar

After a convincing 4-1 triumph in the five-match ODIs series against New Zealand, India will begin their three-match T20I series against the Blackcaps with the first game in Wellington on Wednesday (February 6).

Virat Kohli’s men clinched the series by winning the first three matches at a canter before he went on a well-deserved leave. In his absence, Rohit Sharma led the Men in Blue in the final two games. The opening batsman has been given the charge of the visitors for the shortest format of the game as they look to end their tour with another series win.

And ahead of the series opener, former Indian skipper Sunil Gavaskar was asked to predict India’s batting lineup up till No.7. But while calling out a couple of youngsters for the middle-order, Gavaskar did not include the veteran wicketkeeper-batsman MS Dhoni in the playing XI.

Gavaskar, in conversation with Star Sports anchor, said that Dhoni should be rested ahead of the home series against Australia.

After a dismal 2018 where Dhoni recorded his worst numbers in ODIs in his 12-year-long career, he burst into the frame with three back-to-back fifties against Australia in 2019. He scored 51, 55 and 87 in the three-match series against Australia to not just earn the Man of the Series award, but also shrug off all questions regarding his World Cup spot. He followed it up with an unbeaten and a gritty 48 in the second ODI against New Zealand.

Dhoni clubbed a total of 242 runs in the five innings this year recording an astronomical average of 121 which includes three fifties.

Sunil Gavaskar’s batting lineup for T20I series:

Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Rishabh Pant, Shubman Gill, Dinesh Karthik, Hardik Pandya and Krunal Pandya.

Gavaskar ended the conversation by predicting the outcome of the series, backing India to win it 2-1.

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