Former India seamer Irfan Pathan weighed in on the debate on whether MS Dhoni would have had a better record and impact at No. 3 in one-day international cricket if he had made up his mind of promoting himself up the batting order.
Gautam Gambhir recently stated that Dhoni could have broken more records and got more runs than what he has currently if he had batted at No. 3.
Pathan however, feels that current captain Virat Kohli has a better technique to bat in that position. Pathan said Dhoni himself chose not to bat at No. 3, a position in which he made his mark in international cricket after making his ODI debut in 2004.
“But MS had all the chance to bat at No. 3, he didn’t. Look, I really believe that if you compare Virat and Mahendra Singh Dhoni batting at No. 3, I still feel Virat has a better technique,” Pathan said on Star Sports show ‘Cricket Connected’.
Dhoni played 16 innings at No. 3 in ODIs, scoring 993 runs at an average of 82.75 which is the highest among all the positions he has batted at in the 50-overs format.
He has played the majority of his cricket at No. 6, amassing 4164 runs at 47.31. Overall, the 38-year-old has played 350 ODIs and scored 10,773 runs at 50.57 with 10 hundreds and 73 half-centuries.
After 4 flops in the first four games that he played, Dhoni announced himself on the world stage and showed his batting prowess after he smashed 148 against Pakistan in an ODI in Visakhapatnam after being promoted to No. 3.
“There’s nothing that I am taking away from Mahendra Singh Dhoni, obviously he has been an absolute legend of the game. Everyone has their own opinion. I will still take Virat any day,” Pathan said.
Dhoni surpassed his own record and smashed his highest individual score of 183 not out against Sri Lanka in an ODI in Jaipur in 2005. The score is the highest by a wicketkeeper-batsman in ODI cricket.
Dhoni has not played any form of cricket, international or domestic, since India’s exit from the 2019 World Cup in England.