India vs New Zealand: MS Dhoni is a fantastic player, his record speaks for itself, says James Neesham


MS Dhoni, who missed out the past two ODIs for India due to injury, was declared fit to play on Sunday in the final ODI against New Zealand.

Shared News: Published: February 2, 2019 3:52:37 pm

James Neesham will play the final ODI against India. (Source: AP)
New Zealand allrounder James Neesham on Saturday picked MS Dhoni as the danger man for the home side ahead of the 5th and final ODI against India on Sunday. Speaking to reporters in Wellington, the right-handed batsman said, “His record speaks for itself. He is a fantastic player. I know there were some noises in the Indian media if he should be in the World Cup squad or not. He has got that calm demeanour in the middle-order.”


Dhoni, who missed out the past two ODIs for India due to injury, was declared fit to play on Sunday. Neesham said that the Kiwis bowlers need to be careful against the wicketkeeper batsman.

“When you are bowling to him, you know you have not got the game won until you get him out,” he said.

Speaking about the conditions of the Westpac Stadium in Wellington, Neesham said that he expects the hosts to have an advantage. “We sort of got conditions (at Hamilton) which suit us a little bit more, there was more swing in the air for Boulty (Trent Boult). Anytime, if you can knock over a team like India for 90 odd, you will be happy,” he said.

“But you never know what you are going to get here as pitch conditions go but look, we know the conditions are going to vary in different parts of the country and the world. We want to be a team which can perform in all conditions,” he added.

He further added that the wicket will help bowlers,. but will have something for batsmen as well. “I certainly prefer playing at Westpac because at the Basin Reserve (other venue in Wellington) you are just bowling into the wind everyday. At Westpac, it swings a little bit more. It is a pretty fair surface. I haven’t seen the wicket but I am sure it will be full of runs,” he said.

Neesham, who returned to the side to impress with both bat and ball against Sri Lanka, said that he expects a tougher challenge against India. “Sri Lanka obviously was a lesser challenge than India who are one of the best teams in the world, it poses questions in different ways. But any time you are scoring runs, you take that confidence into the next series no matter who it is against. Hopefully, I will get a chance to contribute,” he said.

Neesham further added that India still are a really good side despite the presence of skipper Virat Kohli. “Their top three average 20 runs more than any other pair. They have a lot of quality at the top despite Virat being rested. For us, it (Kohli’ absence) is certainly not a case of being complacent. We have to bowl in the right areas like Boulty did the other day,” he said.

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