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Sunday, 13 October 2013

Australia’s batting depth as their strength: MS Dhoni

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The only T20I between India and Australia in Rajkot gave a glimpse of the prowess of both the teams and a sneak peek into what can be expected from the seven-match ODI series. That both teams can bat deep was evident from the high-scoring game that India won. (Also Read: India vs Australia Star Sports 1st ODI 2013: Preview)
Acknowledging the same, India captain MS Dhoni mentioned Australia’s batting depth as their strength while addressing the media in Pune ahead of the first ODI scheduled to be played on Sunday. “They bat up to No.9. That’s why in the T20 game they were not too concerned about losing wickets and adopted an aggressive approach. They wanted to increase the pace.”  (Also Read: India deserve to be No.1: George Bailey)
“That’s one of the reasons why our bowlers proved a bit expensive. One also has to take into consideration the dew factor. It becomes difficult for fast bowlers to bowl yorkers, while spinners find it difficult to extract turn and bounce. Overall the conditions were a bit tough for the bowlers on both sides. But I am sure bowlers would adapt to the conditions as the series progresses and you can expect better performances out of both the teams,” he elaborated further while analyzing the bowling in the previous match.
Discussing the opposition further, he added, “They have got quite a few bowlers who can bat and batsmen who can bowl; that way they have more number of bowlers to play with. So if it is tough on one bowler, there is someone else to take the responsibility. Hopefully we will be able to maintain pressure, but overall they are a very good side and their general approach would be aggressive and with the kind of batting line-up they have, they will look to put enough runs on the board if they are batting first or look to chase down anything, especially with the dew factor that will be around for most of the games.”
While speaking about the bowling in the death overs and bowlers being milked, especially in the shorter formats of the game, Dhoni said, “In the last T20 game a fair amount of runs were scored by each side. If you see the ODIs, now we will have one more fielder inside (the 30-yard circle). If you have wickets in hand and in the last 10 overs if the batsmen go after the bowlers, I don’t know where to bring that one fielder inside. (....) It will be difficult. And that’s one area where we have to work on now.”
“As of now it is tough on the bowlers and we will have to see how we use that channel to put pressure on the opposition. But one thing is for sure, if we don’t take wickets, and if the opposition has wickets in hand in the last 10 overs, then with the extra fielder inside – more often than not, what we have seen is even – without the rules a good side was able to score close to 100 runs even against the best of bowlers. Now with that one extra fielder inside, I don’t know how many you can score. Hopefully, we can see how we can use different bowlers to the best of our ability to restrict the opposition and not give away those extra 20 runs,” he said.
While bowling is an area that the teams will be working on, much like their opposition, the Indian team too has a strong batting line-up comprising quite a few match winners, including the captain himself. One of the key players in the line-up, Rohit Sharma, who has recently started opening for the national side, has been in good nick. Asked about the change in Sharma’s approach while batting since opening, Dhoni said, “Depending on where you bat, your approach changes slightly. If you are batting at No.5 or 6, you are not really sure how many deliveries you will get to bat in that game. At times you will not even get to bat if your top-order batsmen have scored a lot of runs in that particular game. But if you are opening, you know if the game is happening, you will get a chance to bat. That way you can prepare yourself better, you know what the conditions will be and how the new ball may do at the start of the innings. Considering all of this you have to change your approach a bit. And I think Rohit has adjusted to it very well. I hope he continues to improve in each and every game and it will be better for us.”
Speaking about the weather and conditions for the first ODI, Dhoni said, “The wicket has a fair cover of grass but at the same time it seems a bit patchy. It may be slightly two-paced. If the ball pitches on the patchy part, it will take off or it may stop. We have to wait and watch till before the start of the game if the groundsman does something else. We have seen there is a bit of low bounce generally on this wicket for the fast bowlers, so the groundsman maybe a bit worried about that and that may be a reason they have kept a fair amount of grass cover.”
source: bcci.tv

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