Many eyebrows have been raised over Mahendra Singh Dhoni's current form and his performance in the death overs. Known as the best finisher in the limited-overs format, Dhoni faced 85 balls and scored just 69 runs in the first five ODIs against South Africa in the ongoing series. He batted at number six and seven in the series. Coming out in Dhoni's support, Suresh Raina, who has been included in India squad for the T20Is against South Africa, said the former India skipper should bat up the order. "I feel Dhoni can do better up the order. He can hit better and get more time," Raina told Sports Tak.
Dhoni has batted at No. 2, 3 and 4 on 45 occasions and scored 2321 runs at an average of 64.47. He has scored three centuries and 18 half-centuries while batting at these positions.
He has batted at No. 5 on 68 occasions, scoring 2718 runs at an average of 53.29. He has 4 centuries and 15 fifties to his name while batting at No. 5.
"He is the kind of player who if he plays up the order will always keep the team in a strong position," Raina said.
Raina last played for India in the T20 series against England and scored an impressive 63 in the final match at Bengaluru in February last year. However, failure to clear the Yo-Yo test kept him on the sidelines.
The left-hander said he was "hurt" after being dropped from the national team despite good performances, but now that he is back in the side, the southpaw wants to make the most of his opportunity in the upcoming T20 International series against South Africa.
"I was hurt on getting dropped even after performing well. But now I have cleared the Yo-Yo test and feeling so strong. During all these months of hard training, the desire to play for India again grew only so much stronger," Raina said.
"I won't leave it here. I have to play for India as long as possible. I have to play the 2019 World Cup because I know I have done well in England. There is still a lot left in me and I am extremely confident of doing well in these three games in South Africa," he said.