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By Tapan Mohanta
Kolkata: Jan 3, 2013
India captain MS Dhoni on Wednesday said that his side was finding it increasingly difficult to win matches with part-timers and would now need a genuine all-rounder keeping in mind the recent changes in ODI rules.
He said the new ODI rules which stipulate five players to remain inside the circle for full 50 overs have created problems for a side like India who used to rely on part-timers.
“We are used to play with part-timers. Now it’s difficult for part-timers to bowl with five players inside the circle.
If there’s dew, then you don’t get turns as well. It becomes more difficult,” Dhoni said at the pre-match press conference ahead of the second ODI against Pakistan.
“With the new rules, you’ve to assess whether six batsmen are enough or seven. It’s very difficult to play with the part-timers and expect them to bowl 10 overs,” he said.
“What we’re looking at is somebody who can fill in the gap — a genuine all-rounder to bring in the balance in the side. Lower order contribution is also very important especially when you’re chasing.”
Dhoni, however, said under the new rules the batsmen would stand a chance to score big runs if they are set.
“Once five fielders are inside, there’s tendency to look for big shots which will often fetch wickets. So it’s important to treat the deliveries as it comes on their merit without looking for a very big score,” he said.
“Earlier it was important to get as many runs possible in the three Power Plays. But with the new rules, you’ve five players inside throughout, which means if you’re set then there are very good chances to get good runs. It’s about being in good form and playing as many overs as possible.
“In the last game, we saw if you’ve wickets in hand and if your main batsmen are still there, then you can get a lot of runs. You’ll have to keep wickets in hand and treat every ball as it comes without thinking too much ahead.”
Dhoni said the team was going through a transition phase after the World Cup and with exposure, its performance would keep on improving.
“We’re going through a transition period whether it’s Test or ODIs. Even in ODIs, most of our main bowlers are injured which means we are lacking a bit of experience. They are fresh bowlers, the more they play, the better they get. I am not really worried too much about it. They just need proper exposure,” he said.
He, however, conceded that his side was under pressure in the three-match ODI series against Pakistan having lost the first match in Chennai.
“It’s an important game for us. We are a bit under pressure because it’s a must-win situation. It’s a short series, you can’t really let the opponents go too fast,” Dhoni said.
Pakistani pacers had ripped apart the Indian top order in the six-wicket loss in the first ODI but Dhoni defended his batsmen, saying that they should not be judged on the basis of a one-off performance.
“We have batted well in shorter versions. It was one off game in the last ODI. It would be wrong to judge our batsmen on that basis. We have seen if the top batsmen have failed others have taken up the responsibility well and the bowlers have defended as well.
“Of course batting has been a bit of a problem. That’s one area where we should have been really good. But it happens in cricket. It’s the right time for all the batsmen to come back among runs,” he said.
Dhoni also brushed aside the criticism on his leadership by former players after the team’s string of poor performances recently under him and said he would rather focus in the game instead of responding to them.
“It’s their views. You’ve to respect their views. My job is to play cricket and help the youngsters. Everybody knows what’s the problem. we are more worried about how to do well as a team,” he said.
The Indian captain lauded the early 12 noon start to the day-night one-dayer and said the move would reduce the impact of the dew factor.
“It’s good to start early. Because of the dew factor, we have seen 70-75 per cent times, the team batting second wins, unless you got off to a really bad start. Now, the toss would not become vital and the wicket will remains quite the same in both the innings.
“But at the end of the day, you’ve to play good cricket to win the game. You can’t rely too much on toss,” he said.
Asked to compare his 99 in fourth Test against England and 113 in the first ODI against Pakistan in Chennai, Dhoni said, “As far as the two knocks are concerned, both innings and formats were different. But I take a lot of positive out of it. It’s a fresh start again. I will have to stick to the basics.”
About India’s all-loss record at the Eden, Dhoni said, “We will just look to improve. We can’t really go worse than that. We can only go up.”
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