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Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Pacers have worked on yorkers: MS Dhoni

After bidding farewell to Sachin Tendulkar from Test cricket, the Indian team has regrouped to kick-start the three-match ODI series against West Indies. Ahead of the first match in Kochi, skipper MS Dhoni spoke about the after-effects of the emotional Mumbai Test but also maintained the team was prepared to get back to the shorter format. (Also Read: Preview: India vs West Indies - 1st ODI, Kochi, 2013)
“We’ll have to see what was more difficult – playing the Test series in which the emotions were right there or this one which comes right after the emotional series,” Dhoni told the media. “For us, every series is important because we are always under pressure to win”.
With the return of Suresh Raina and Yuvraj Singh, India’s batting options have increased and so has questions over who gets to bat where. Dhoni said it depends more on the match situation and he wants both Raina and Yuvraj to score runs as they man a very crucial middle-order.
“It’s important, not only for them but also for the team, that they score runs because the No.4 and No.5 spots are very important. After the openers set the platform, these guys capitalize in the last 10-15 overs.
“Also, we don’t rigidly allot slots to the batsmen. Who bats where depends a lot on the number of overs left. If our openers get going and bat till the 32nd or 33rd over, we may send someone else instead of the regular No. 3 to capitalize on the start,” said the captain.
Dhoni spoke about the pace bowlers’ plight after the seven-ODI run-fest against Australia where the Indian pacers were expensive, especially in the death overs. The Indian skipper revealed that since the ODI series, the group of Indian fast bowlers has been working specifically on improving that aspect of their game and paying extra attention on mastering the yorker.
“Since the ODI series against Australia, we have ensured that the bowlers get a lot of death bowling practice. Besides using variations, I feel we need to bowl a lot of yorkers. We have been working on that but it may take some time for it to reflect on the field. We, however, have seen a lot of improvement in the nets,” he said.
India’s next assignment is the tour to South Afrcia, for which the fast bowlers will be the key. The Indian squad for the West Indies ODIs consists of five pace bowlers Dhoni said the reason for including a bunch of pacers in the team is to develop them for the pressure situations.
“We have to get a big pool of pacers and that’s why we have so many of them in our squad. Most of them have done well for their domestic sides and some of them have fared well in the few international matches they have played. We’ll have to give them few more games to see how they react when put under pressure. Developing youngsters is a slow process because in each game we play, we are expected to win,” said the Indian captain.
“The West Indies are a good team. You may say that both the Tests got over in three days and so they were easy for us, but that’s not the case. There were times when we were five-six wickets down and had to build a partnership. The Test series wasn’t as easy as the scorecard suggests. Also, in the ODIs they have a slightly different squad with players who play expressive cricket that suits this format. They also have people who can contribute with bat and ball and that gives depth to their line-up. They can play with more than five bowlers and at the same time bat till nine,” he added.


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