Important to get Gayle out early: Dhoni
With a comprehensive win over South Africa, India will be riding high on confidence when they take on West Indies at the Oval on Tuesday. A win against Dwayne Bravo’s side will strengthen their claim for a berth in the ICC Champions Trophy 2013 semi-finals.
While speaking to the media ahead of the match, India captain MS Dhoni discussed the importance of planning and the new rules.
You play so much cricket against each other, with each other, so there is no, say, any special planning left to do? Do you believe in strategic planning? Do you believe in so much of team meeting and analysis?
I think a bit of basic planning is very important. But I have always believed that every individual will bat in a different way depending on how the wicket is behaving. And according to the wicket, bowlers bowl differently; change the pace, bowl bouncers or yorkers, depending on the conditions. So I think a basic game plan is very necessary, and you change or adapt according to what comes your way.
Any change of plan?
You will have to wait when it comes to the combination because you may say, okay, overcast conditions, let's play with four seamers, but talking about the stats, four seamers, the only stats we have got is we lose the game and the captain gets banned, so these are the two things that come out of four fast bowlers.
Have you seen the wicket?
It's the same wicket that was used in the last game. It has a bit of a grass covering, and it had a bit of bounce in the last game, so fast bowlers will get a bit of bounce. But since it's a used wicket it may be that the spinners get a bit more turn compared to the last game.
How big will be the Chris Gayle factor, and the last time India and West Indies actually played here in England, that was 30 years back, the 1983 World Cup, so a bit on that.
That's a long time, close to when I was born – I was born in 1981 -- so I don't remember much for sure.
But the Gayle factor will always be there. He is one of those individuals that have a big impact on the game. It is always good to get them out early. Our fast bowlers will have a fair chance, in that they will have two new balls to get him out. Overcast condition may help in getting a bit from the wicket.
Yes, it will be an interesting game because what's important is to realize if you don't get batsmen like Chris Gayle out, most likely he will take you out of the game.
What did you make of the West Indies-Pakistan match? Do you think their batting struggled a bit and are you planning to capitalise on it?
You can just get a general idea out of it. But still, it's very important to back the strengths that we have got as a team, to back our strength and work on our weakness. It's pretty simple that way.
But at the same time it does help you to make that game plan quite easy because you already know how the wicket is behaving and how most of the batsmen are batting.
Could you also talk about the state of one‑day cricket? It is slated to be the last Champions Trophy?
Well, I think I am a big fan of ODI cricket; the reason being it's a mix of both the formats - Test cricket and T20. You see both the things happening in the sense if you lose too many wickets early, you get a glimpse of Test cricket where the batsmen, they struggle, they don't want to give the wickets early and then capitalise and still go on for the slog in the last few overs. That's a general pattern.
I feel each and every format is special in its own way, but in the last few years I feel we are trying to make ODI too much into a T20 format. We should just leave it the way it is. We were already seeing people scoring 300 odd runs, and the opposition is able to chase that amount of runs. Too many changes can actually spoil the recipe at times, but as of now, it looks good.
What do you think Umesh Yadav’s strengths are?
Well, I think first of all, his strength is, he is somebody who can bowl quickly, and at the same time he can swing the ball. More often you will see him bowling the out swinger with that extra pace. Also, there's a bit of reverse swing, he can really explode, put the batsman on the back foot, and execute his plans well. But still, he has to learn a lot. With more exposure he will turn into a thinking bowler where he'll think, what needs to be done, what's the game plan as the game progresses at different stages in the game.