MS Dhoni would have been the most exciting cricketer had he not captained India and batted at No. 3: Gambhir

Former India opener Gautam Gambhir said world cricket missed witnessing MS Dhoni continuing to bat at No. 3, saying the wicketkeeper-batsman would have been a ‘completely different player’ as a top-order batsman.

Gautam Gambhir said MS Dhoni would have the ‘most exciting cricketer’ had he continued to bat at No. 3 instead of going on to become the captain of the Indian cricket team.

MS Dhoni, who made his India debut in 2004, grabbed the attention of the cricket world when he was pushed to bat at No. 3. Two of his memorable and ruthless hundreds came at the No. 3 position against Sri Lanka and Pakistan in 2005.

While he made a mark as an aggressive No. 3 batsman, Dhoni played only 16 ODIs at the top-order spot, scoring 993 runs at an average of over 82 and a strike rate of close to 100. The majority of his 10,773 ODI runs came at No. 5 and No. 6 as Dhoni went on to become a calm and calculated finisher after taking over the mantle of captaincy.

“Probably world cricket has missed one thing… that is MS (Dhoni) captained India and did not bat at No. 3. Had MS batted at No. 3, probably world cricket would have seen a completely different player,” Gautam Gambhir told Star Sports ‘Cricket Connected’

“Probably he would have got many more runs, broken many records. Forget about records, they are meant to be broken. He would have been the most exciting cricketer in the world had he not captained India and had he batted at No. 3.

“MS Dhoni batting at No. 3 on flat wickets with the quality of bowling attack now in world cricket… look at Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and West Indies in the current situation, with the quality there is no international cricket, MS Dhoni would have broken most of the records.”

MS Dhoni has not played international cricket since the 2019 World Cup. The World Cup-winning captain has kept mum about his future in international cricket even as speculations are rife about it.

However, MS Dhoni had trained with Chennai Super Kings in the lead-up to Indian Premier League in March. With IPL 2020 remaining suspended, uncertainty over Dhoni’s future is among the widely-debated subjects in the cricket fraternity.

Meanwhile, Pakistan wicketkeeper-batsman Kamran Akmal believes MS Dhoni should be India’s first-choice wicketkeeper at the T20 World Cup.

KL Rahul has established himself as the first-choice wicketkeeper for India in T20Is, keeping Rishabh Pant out of the playing XI. With the two young wicketkeepers batting for spot in the XI, it remains to be seen if Dhoni will decide to get back into the side in the lead up to the 16-team tournament.

Earlier, Dhoni’s India and Chennai Super Kings teammate Harbhajan Singh had hinted that the legendary wicketkeeper does not want to play for India again.

“He wants to play IPL 100 percent. But one needs to know his take on whether he wants to play for India anymore or not. I think he doesn’t want to play for India again. He has played so much for India,” Harbhajan said.

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