14 June 2024 last updated at 01:04 GMT
Dhoni wants his bowlers to perform
Friday 14 October 2011

India captain MS Dhoni feels that the ODI series against England is the right time for his bowlers to stand up and be counted after their disastrous performance in England.

The attack will be led by medium-pacer Praveen Kumar in the absence of injured Zaheer Khan and spinner Harbhajan Singh, who was dropped. Kumar will be assisted by the likes of off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin, medium-pacers Vinay Kumar, Umesh Yadav, and uncapped Varun Aaron and Sreenath Aravind and leggie Rahul Sharma.

"This is a different set of bowlers and they all will get an opportunity to perform in home conditions. That is a big plus point for them, they know the conditions well and most of them have the experience of playing in the Indian Premier League. So they have a fair idea as to what needs to be done when a batsman is going after them. I think it will be quite exciting," said Dhoni on the eve of the first One-day International here at the Rajiv Gandhi international stadium at Uppal.

The batting, too, misses big names like Virender Sehwag, Sachin Tendulkar and Yuvraj Singh.

"Another opportunity for the batsmen to set themselves up at the top level in the absence of key players. It is exciting to see some of the youngsters the way they approached the game," said Dhoni.

Asked whether Suresh Raina would be under pressure to perform, Dhoni said it would be a big opportunity for him, not pressure.

"It is an opportunity for him. He has been my colleague for the past four years in the Chennai Super Kings team also. He loves challenges, loves bowling in first power play or second power play irrespective of whether the batsman is going after the bowling or not. It is good to have characters like him. It is another opportunity, not pressure."

On the team composition, the captain said Parthiv Patel and Ajinkya Rahane were impressive as openers in England, but with Gambhir back in the mix, he hinted a shuffle in the order.

"We have not yet finalised the eleven. Parthiv and Rahane did really well in England. Gautam has batted for us at number three quite a few times. Of course, when Sachin or Veeru (Sehwag) were not there he opened the innings. But we need to analayse whether we want him to bat at the top or in the middle order," said Dhoni.

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