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India vs England 3rd Test at Southampton: Crucial to strike the right balance, says MS Dhoni

MS Dhoni said that in a five match series a lead of one match is not much © Getty Images
MS Dhoni said that in a five-match series a lead of one match is not much © Getty Images

Southampton: Jul 26, 2014 

India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni says since 1-0 is a very slender lead in a long series, they have to be on their toes and pick right combination for the third Test, beginning on Sunday (27th July).

“I feel that in a five-match series, 1-0 lead is not big. It’s crucial to pick the right team and move forward. We are not thinking about any tag line this time, 1-0 up, level the series etc. We need to pick the right team and for that we need to judge the nature of the wicket. We are more focussed on all these areas at this time,” said Dhoni.

When asked if he had seen the pitch, Dhoni replied in the negative. ”We will have to see the moisture level in the pitch before the game because it has been quite hot this summer in England. We will decide the team accordingly. I know there is a famous saying ‘why to fix something when it is not broken.’ But you have to realise that others are trying to catch up with you when you are doing well. So the important thing is that we will see the wicket and decide what’s the best combination is,” he added.

It remains to be seen then whether Dhoni opts for a seventh batsman once again, playing Rohit Sharma, or retains his five bowlers for the match, giving Stuart Binny another chance. ”When you play with five bowlers, the one thing is you won’t use that one bowler too much as compared to the rest of the bowlers. It is more like a reserve battery. When there is a long partnership that bowler is fresh and puts in a little bit of strong effort. You can rest your main bowlers, keeping them fresh for the second new ball,” said Dhoni.

“Also, if your spinner gets some extra purchase then you don’t really require the fifth bowler because your spinner can bowl long spells. If the spinner can keep one end tight, then it is better to attack with three main bowlers,” he added. It puts the role of Ravindra Jadeja into focus with the all-rounder reeling under the aftermath of the James Anderson incident wherein he has been fined 50 percent of his match fee. Dhoni had defended his player and added that this incident won’t trouble Jadeja either.

“He has got a lot of talent and he gets wickets or runs when he remains in his natural self. The way he played in the last Test match will give a lot of confidence not only in this series but for the rest of Test matches that he will play in his career. His presence also gives the liberty of playing another bowler, because he keeps it tight irrespective of the ball is turning or not. So that also gives ample rest to the other bowlers. He is a vital instrument in our line-up as of now,” said the Indian skipper.

Alastair Cook went on record that the 2-1 series win in India in 2012-13 is inspiring his team to turn the series around. The Indian skipper however was not too flustered about it. ”We never think too much about the past. What we do is to learn from the games that we play and take the positives out of them. Staying in the present is important, and helps us to not looking at the past too much,” Dhoni signed off.

Complete coverage of India’s tour to England here

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