MS Dhoni was in top form in the limited-over series in Australia, winning the Man of the Series award after guiding India to a historic ODI series win on Australian soil.
The 37-year-old wicketkeeper-batsman missed three ODIs through injury in the New Zealand series but has impressed with the bat in the limited opportunities he has got.
Yuvraj Singh on Friday opened up on Dhoni’s importance to the team, saying that his “decision-making” and “cricket brain” will be extremely important to India at the Cricket World Cup 2019 in England and Wales.
Before the limited-over series in Australia, there was a lot of talk surrounding Dhoni’s ability to contribute with the bat. Dhoni had managed only 275 runs from 20 ODIs in 2018.
But that all changed in 2019 with Dhoni proving his value to the team and silencing his critics with some brilliant performances with the bat.
The likes of skipper Virat Kohli, cricket legend Sunil Gavaskar and coach Ravi Shastri all made an impassioned defence of the former India captain and highlighted his performance.On Friday, Yuvraj echoed the sentiments.
“I think Mahi (Dhoni) has a great cricket brain. And as a wicket-keeper, you are in the best position to monitor the game and he has done that fantastically over the years.
He has been a great captain. (He is) with the young players and guiding Virat (Kohli) all the time,” Yuvraj said after being announced as the brand ambassador of sports-tech startup LivePools at suburban Bandra.
“So, I feel his presence is very important in decision-making. He had a fantastic tournament in Australia and it is good to see him hit the ball how he used to do, and I wish him all the best,” added the batsman, who had hit six sixes in an over during the World T20 in 2007.
But Yuvraj steered clear of queries on which batting position Dhoni should come in.”That you have to ask Dhoni, which number he has to bat,” he said.
Yuvraj will be competing for Mumbai Indians in IPL 2019 and said he will look to ease the pressure on skipper Rohit Sharma.
“I think, if I can contribute in the middle-order, it will just take some weight off him (Rohit) and he can just go and play his natural game, while opening. (We will) see how the combinations (go),” Yuvraj told reporters.
The 37-year-old left-hander found a buyer quite late at the IPL players’ auction held in Jaipur last December for his base price of Rs 1 crore after going unsold initially. “I’m very fired up, I have been training in the nets everyday,” said Yuvraj.