By CricketCountry Staff
Colombo: Jul 29, 2012
Indian captain MS Dhoni while applauding Zaheer Khan’s efforts to grab early wickets in third One-Day Internationals (ODIs) feels other bowlers should contribute to reduce the burden of the strike bowler.
The Indian captain said after the third match that making use of Zaheer’s guile becomes difficult considering currently he is the best bowler in the team.
“It depends on what exactly you’re feeling at that time (death overs). He has to bowl in the first five overs because we don’t want the opposition to get off to a flying start. He also needs to bowl in the first and second power play and with only 10 overs available it becomes a bit difficult,” said Dhoni, expecting other bowlers to learn the tricks of the trade. “Yes, in this game we tried to use him up-front. The other bowlers were slightly off-target but it’s important that they also learn the trick because Zaheer won’t always be there to save us.”
Lasith Malinga almost took the match away from the visitors in his second spell as the fiery bowler sent the Indian captain and Rohit Sharma back to pavilion in back-to-back deliveries.
But the team always has had faith in middle-order batsman Suresh Raina to win the match from the precarious situation, said the Indian captain.
”We did have a chance. Gautam was still batting and we had firm belief in Raina. There were Irfan and Ashwin to follow. We wanted to have a good platform by the start of the 36th over and I think the first two deliveries really took the game away from us. We wanted to make the most of the power play,” said Dhoni.” But those two wickets did change the game. Raina batted really well. To start off Gautam was brilliant coming up with a performance like that. We really needed one of our top three to stand up and perform and Gautam did that very well.”
Dhoni has a habit of surprising fans with the impromptu changes in batting order. On Saturday, the Indian captain – similar to his move in 2011 World Cup final – promoted himself higher up the order.
He explained the move: “In the last game the middle order didn’t do well and if we wanted to get a good platform we had to have a good partnership in the middle-order.
“Gautam was batting well and I wanted to build a partnership with him and have wickets in hand in the end. With the kind of explosive hitters we have down the order, it becomes easy for us in the end.”
Dhoni agreed that the move was also to ease pressure off Rohit Sharma and Raina. He said, “To a certain extent, it does take the pressure off them. Not to forget, this is the start of the season and there’s pressure on all the guys because we are expected to win and we have to keep doing well.
“In a way it helps when you know what exactly needs to be done and when bowlers are under pressure too, it makes their job slightly easy.”
The Indian captain, who had earlier complained about the nature of the pitch used in the second ODI at Hambantota, said he was happy with team’s overall batting performance on Saturday.
He was quoted by BCCI’s official website as saying,” Last game was an off game for us and what’s very important was to get rid of the memories of that game while learning from the mistakes made in it. Today we were quite good in our approach.
“We need to improve our death bowling and a bit of fielding but overall I’m happy with our performance. It was a hard-earned victory and we intend to do better in the coming games.”