Indian skipper MS Dhoni lead his team to a remarkable 3-1 ODI series win against England © Getty Images
Indian skipper MS Dhoni lead his team to a remarkable 3-1 ODI series win against England © Getty Images

Sep 6, 2014

Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni has sent out a message to his pacers to work on their “death bowling” skills if the ODI world champions were to defend their title Down Under next year.
The ”Men-in-Blue suffered a 41-run defeat at the hands of England in the fifth and final one-day international here yesterday but still won the series 3-1 after posting three crushing wins on the trot.
“Death-over bowling is something which I would like to improve because conditions in AustraliaNew Zealand will be very different. We are not playing too many games in New Zealand but the grounds are not very big there. So we cannot use spinners too much after the 40th over and to some extent it will put extra pressure on fast bowlers to take more responsibility,” Dhoni said.
India have five ODIs at home versus the West Indies and then at least four matches in the tri-series involving Australia and England in January. If there are any major concerns, they have to be addressed soon.
“It is really important for them to use the coming games well. But at the same time in the next five matches versus the West Indies, we will get fair amount of dew so they might find it tough to execute their yorkers or may not find their reverse swing.
“It won’t be exactly like what we may face later in Australia-New Zealand,” the skipper said.
Asked about the inconsequential match, which England won riding on Joe Root‘s second ODI hundred, Dhoni blamed his batsmen for poor strokes.
“Overall the bowling was quite today. It was a good wicket to bat on and 300 was the par score,” said Dhoni after the game.
“But we gave away quite a few soft wickets in the middle overs. We lost too many wickets and were not in position to chase the runs afterwards. So those loose dismissals really cost us the game.”
Root smashed 113 off 108 balls as England avoided a whitewash after posting 294 for seven.
The Indian captain though went on to praise Mohammad Shami, who took two wickets for 52 runs, but bowled well in the death overs.
Surprisingly, India had dropped Dhawal Kulkarni after his debut game in Birmingham and brought in Umesh Yadav, whilst still playing Bhuvneshwar Kumar.
“His execution was great today which I feel is lacking in some of other fast bowlers. But definitely he bowled really well with a few yorkers. Whenever I needed him or asked him he really bowled well, so I was definitely impressed with his bowling today,” said the skipper.
“Yorker is very simple but it is a most difficult ball to execute. It takes a lot out of you and takes a lot to bowl the yorker especially if batsmen use the ramp shot or scoop the ball and batsmen get down very early to such deliveries in death overs. So you have to be very aware of that,” he added.
“You go in to win games,” he said, when asked about the bowlers.

“You don’t want two fast bowlers who are relatively inexperienced, wherein I mean, one is either making a comeback or the other is just making a debut. So it makes it difficult to rotate or use those resources. So one at a time is good enough and something I can handle.”
There were two pertinent questions to which Dhoni didn’t give proper answers to. One was regarding the new coaching staff on whose first assignment, India have won this series.
And the other was about star batsman Virat Kohli who has now stretched his poor run to the ODI series as well, with only the T20-International remaining on this tour.
“Everything is the same. We have a batting coach and a bowling coach. They speak two languages and one of them is Hindi. Apart from that you cannot tell the difference in three to five matches,” Dhoni said.
“It is the end of the series. Let us talk about the upcoming T20 match,” he added, smiling, when asked about Kohli.