As India resume their international cricketing commitment in the widespread pandemic era, it is a whole new and different territory for the side, as they are doing this for the first time since the retirement of their former skipper, MS Dhoni. He announced his retirement in August, after missing out of action for more than a year.

Meanwhile, India are off to a shaky start in Australia, as they lost the opening One-Day International (ODI), at the Sunday Cricket Ground (SCG), on Friday. As they look to get back and level things up on Sunday, former Windies legend Michael Holding feels that India could take time to adjust to the game without Dhoni’s expertise.

“It was always going to be difficult for India to chase that down. One thing India will struggle with is the loss of Mahendra Singh Dhoni. Dhoni comes in to this Indian batting order halfway down and he usually takes control while chasing. India have chased so well in the past with MS Dhoni in the team,” Holding said on his YouTube channel.

“This batting line-up that they have got is still very talented - we saw some talented players and fantastic strokeplay. Hardik played a beautiful knock, but they still need a player like Dhoni. Not just his skills, but his strength of character,” added Holding.

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Holding also brought on the fearless factor that Dhoni possessed, while India seem to be panicking of late. “They have never been afraid to win the toss and insert the opposition because they know what M. S. Dhoni is capable of and their batting is capable of,” he reckoned.

“We never see Dhoni panicking at any stage while India are chasing. He usually paces that chase so well because he knows his ability and he knows how to go about the chase. Whoever is batting with him, he is always talking with them and helping them. Fantastic batting line-up, but MS Dhoni was a special man in the run-chase,” continued Holding.

Holding was also not impressed with India’s poor fielding in the opening ODI, which supposedly cost them, conceding extra runs. “India didn’t help themselves with their fielding. The SCG is a big ground, but the boundary rope was still in from the extremes of the boundary,” he noted.

“India slipped up on quite a few occasions, with balls going over the fielders’ heads and not going for sixes. There’s no way you should be that far within the boundary. In any ground, it’s a basic principle, that you should not be that far in that the ball can go over your head and land within the boundary. If it goes over your head, it should be six and that is just basic,” concluded Holding.

Watch his entire analysis here: