12:52 pm - Thursday November 5, 2015

Dhoni refuses to underestimate Windies

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Mahendra Singh Dhoni hints he will miss Gautam Gambhir in South Africa
Mahendra Singh Dhoni hints he will miss Gautam Gambhir in South Africa

It would be a mistake to believe that India will enjoy an upper hand against the West Indies in the ODI series just because the Caribbean side has lost the Test series, Mahendra Singh Dhoni said.

India had won the series 2-0, but Dhoni said it was not an easy task to get that scoreline and the ODI format may actually suit the West Indies cricketers.

“The West Indies are a good team. You may say that the Test matches got over on the third day itself and it was easy, but it was not. There were situations where we were under pressure and then we had to build a partnership. It was not an easy series as the scorecards suggest,” Dhoni said at the pre-match press conference.

“It is important that we take the match with a right frame of mind and not thinking about whether the opposition played well or not.”

Most of the matches in the ODI series against Australia were high score affairs. Asked if similar scores could be expected in the three-match series, the Indian skipper said it could not be predicted at this stage.

“It all depends on how the wicket here is going to behave. Before the start, it is not easy to say what will be the good score to win a match. We will see how the wicket behaves and then we plan and may be 260 or 280 could be a good score if it becomes flat. If the dew factor comes into play, then an average of 230 or 240 could be an ideal score.”

Dhoni said his players have worked hard on bowling in the death overs, and hoped that the results will show on the field gradually.

“They are putting in a lot of effort and we have seen a lot of improvement in that front. I am hoping that they come out well after the effort they are putting in,” he said.

Dhoni said there was no fixed slot for any batsman in the team and the batting order maybe changed according to the situation, but emphasised that number four slot was crucial.

“Number four is the platform where you consolidate the innings. It is a very huge slot and who will bat at four or five you will have to wait and watch. We do not give anyone a slot that you will bat at number four or five or so on. It all depends on the number of overs available.

“If a good partnership is going and they bat for 30 or 32 overs, then we shuffle our batting order. It depends on the situation,” he said.

Talking about Yuvraj Singh’s comeback, Dhoni said,”The conditions will be tough. You know it is very humid out there. So, I think it is very important that he enjoys the game without thinking about our performance in the Test series. One has to be in a good frame of mind.”

Asked if he had a team from the current lot of players in mind for the next World Cup, he said, “As of now, we have to get a pool of bowlers. That is what we are doing. Most of them have done well at the domestic levels and they have also played in few international matches and done well. But we have to see them in few more games to see as to how they bowl and then we will have a fair idea as to what needs to be done.

“We are trying to give the present lot chances and of course there are priority and at the same time you are looking at winning the ODI series. It is a slow process and it is good if they are able to get their chances in the middle and see how they handle pressure,” the skipper added.

Asked If the Indian team was under pressure to win ODIs against the West Indies after an emotional series and before embarking for South Africa tour, Dhoni said there was nothing new when it comes to pressure.

“You are talking about emotions but we will have to see which was difficult. Whenever an Indian team plays whichever the opposition, we play irrespective of where we are playing. We are always set to be under pressure and we always are set in a situation where it is difficult to win a series. It is another series for us after having won the Test series.”

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