We will play horses for courses: MS Dhoni
Colombo, Sep 29: India have a day to regroup and recharge before they take on arch rivals Pakistan in their next Super Eights encounter. MS Dhoni’s men have so far had a mixed bag fortunes in the ICC World Twenty20. After a tough game against the Afghanistan they comprehensively beat England but were outplayed by Australia. Having suffered a defeat at the hands of their neighbours in a warm-up match and needing to win the next two games, India will be looking forward to beat their old foes.
Like the India captain said during his media interaction, the Men-in-Blue need to go out and express themselves when the take the field again on Sunday. He also discussed the team composition and their performance against Australia.
Excerpts from the press conference:
On whether there will be more pressure to decide the playing eleven now and need to win the remaining two games
It is always good to be in a situation where you have to win every game because then you have to be at your best. There is no for complacency, so that’s a good part.
We will chose horses for courses. […] Here you have to be at your best throughout so we will chose individuals who suit best on that particular day depending on the opposition.
On whether there is a pattern in the way Rohit Sharma is getting bowled to the incoming delivery
I am bad at analyzing technique. You have seen my technique so I am not the right person to answer that question. I felt the ball he got out on was a good delivery. About the techniques you will have to ask [coach] Duncan [Fletcher].
On not giving Irfan Pathan the new ball though he has been more effective with it
If you see Zak [Zaheer Khan] has been bowling well for us and his record against both the openers has been really good. So we thought of bowling R Ashwin from one end and Zaheer from the other end. We were looking for wickets initially because it was important to get wickets while defending 140 runs. In the Australian line-up, the openers are the ones who have been scoring most of the runs for them so it was important that we get an early breakthrough. There were a couple of close calls but it didn’t go our way. But, that was one of the main reasons why we decided that Zaheer should open from one end and Ashwin from the other.
On whether there was a specific reason for going in with three spinners and whether the interruptions by the rain affect any plans in the match against Australia
Once the ball got wet it was very difficult for the spinners to bowl. All the spinners bowled and either they bowled a few short-pitched deliveries or full tosses which meant that there was no real grip for them and that was the main reason we were not able to put pressure on the Australians.
On whether they will play the same team combination in the next match against Pakistan
We will chose the playing eleven depending on the opposition that we are playing and also based on the kind of wicket that we are playing on. After today we will also take into consideration the rain factor.
On how much confidence he has in the team to make a comeback and on the resources he has under his command right now
The team has got potential. It is just that we have to implement it on the field. The performance needs to reflect on the field, that is very important. It is also important that we go into the field and just express ourselves because we may not lose badly , you may not have worse game than what happened today. So let’s go out there and express ourselves and play the big shots and bowl with confidence and whatever the result maybe let’s not care about the result. It is a very different format you cannot do a lot of planning about what you will do. Just go out, you have the talent and you have the resources so just express yourself.
On whether fielding is a concern
I am not too worried about the fielding. Yes today there were a few misfields but this particular cricket stadium is a bit bumpy now. I don’t know the reason, whether it is the monsoon or because it is just after the monsoon. But it’s a bit bumpy so misfields can happen. You just have to wait for your turn, if the ball decides to give you a bad bounce and if it is your turn you will do bad fielding for sure. So it is not only us. Few other sides are also struggling with that but we are hoping that it doesn’t become very critical in a game where two or three runs can matter.
On the game against Pakistan being an extra pressure game whether it adds to the pressure of winning the next two matches
We are always at the top when it comes to the pressure chain. […] because of the expectation level back home we are expected to win everything so I don’t think it [the pressure] can go beyond that limit. We are always there, so it doesn’t really matter for us. It is important to enjoy the game and not think about the result too much.
On the whether the pitch has undergone changes and how it is likely to play out against Pakistan
The wicket has slowed down a lot in comparison to the last series that we played or the first few games that we played here. Even today when the Australian players were playing the ball was gripping and it was not really coming on to the bat. It meant that if you had a few variations you can really trouble the batsman. The big shots were not really easy to play. Looking at the amount of break that the curator has to maintain the wicket I still think that it will be on the slower side because they will use the same strip to play the matches. So we are hoping the slow bowlers will come into action.
On playing with five bowlers and the reason for leaving Virender Sehwag out in particular against Australia
It is tough to answer the whole question. We played with five bowlers in the last match and the bowlers performance was very good then. To say that the bowlers didn’t bowl well based on this one match would be wrong because we need to take into consideration the conditions as well. It rained towards the end of our innings. The Umpire let the game go on for a little while but when it came down heavily the game was stopped. After one over they had an option to take the roller and they took the right roller. Then when we came out to bowl it rained heavily and when the ball gets wet it do much for the spinners. That is one of the main reason all the spinners that we had, whether it was three [specialist] spinners or the part-timers couldn’t bowl well.
I think we should have made a few more runs. We had 70 odd runs for the loss of two wickets in the first ten overs and then we lost one more wicket quickly and so we were five down. So we were under a bit of pressure as we needed to score runs also and play out the next ten overs as well. So we decided to set a target that we can defend. We had a score of 145-150 in mind but we hadn’t thought about the rain, that it would rain like this.
Why leave Virender Sehwag out? Well, we had only two options. I don’t like to take name individuals but we had to chose between the two options. I feel in this kind of a game we should go with horses for courses so the player that does well against a certain side we should play them. So, to justify a the exclusion of a certain player is difficult.
On making changes in the team for almost every game here while when he is captaining in IPL there are rarely any changes in the side
We have to see which eleven are the best suited for that particular match and, also the conditions out here are very different. In your IPL team you have a fixed set of individuals who play almost all the games so you don’t really need to do too many changes. Over here we have to get a balance in the batting, [and have] batsmen who bat quite deep like some of the other sides and yet have the bowlers who can put pressure.