Chance to prepare for England ODIs: Dhoni
Team India will take field at the Feroz Shah Kotla with the knowledge that they have already surrendered the series to Pakistan. But they will still play with a goal in mind. With the ODI series against England starting in a week’s time, getting back the winning feeling will help them start the fresh series on a positive note.
MS Dhoni wants his batsmen to use this match as an opportunity to regain their touch. “We have already lost this series but this match is important to us in order to prepare for the coming series. We haven’t been able to bat well in this series and will try to change that. We’ll feature our best XI,” he said.
However, the team faces a minor scare ahead of the third and final ODI of the series with Dhoni announcing himself doubtful due to a dodgy back.
“I have a sore back and am a bit doubtful for the game,” Dhoni said, adding the discomfort was triggered during to the team’s optional practice session ahead of the Delhi game.
“I was going through a fielding drill which involves three stations and during the last station something happened. I did a bit of batting after that but since the climate is pretty cold, we’ll have to see how it shapes up in the morning,” the skipper explained.
He revealed that Dinesh Karthik is due to join the team as a backup wicketkeeper. With a century and a fifty in the first two games, Dhoni has been India’s only saviour when it comes to batting. However, the captain said he was confident that others would do the job in his absence.
“I don’t think anyone is irreplaceable. If I miss the match, I’m sure Dinesh will bat as well as I did in the last two matches,” Dhoni said.
Dhoni hinted that Ajinkya Rahane could get his big chance against England.
“We’ll have to weigh in the alternatives we have and decide whether it would be wise to make changes in the last game of the series or give him a long rope in the next series.”
While the captain urged his players to raise their game, he also defended his men and denied the need to go for a complete overhaul.
“The 15 guys that make the squad are the best we have got and if 11 of them don’t perform as a team, you cannot just chop and change them. You have to back them,” Dhoni said.
“We all have chats in the dressing room. The thing is that everyone knows what the problems are; we discuss them in the team meetings. But it all boils down to going on the field and performing. Having long team meetings don’t really help your performance. The general guidelines remain the same.”