Absence of third seamer bothers captain Dhoni

MS Dhoni said his team is short of a strong third seamer and needs to improve the fielding as well to dominate the five-match series.

Written by Agencies | Napier | Published:March 3, 2009 4:40 pm

India may have sauntered to a comfortable 53-run win over New Zealand in the first ODI on Tuesday,but skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni said his team is short of a strong third seamer and needs to improve the fielding as well to dominate the five-match series.

“I think we can do a lot better in the fielding department. That is one area we can definitely improve,” said Dhoni.

“The batting was superb. But we need to figure out something about the third seamer option. The ball stops doing much. That is the time you need someone who is street smart and someone who can utilise slower bouncers and bouncers to get around it,” he added.

Dhoni said the 69-run start provided by Sehwag (77) and Tendulkar (20) laid the foundation for the victory.

“I have always stressed on good starts. We knew we had good firepower down the order to capitalise on a decent. Sachin and Viru (Sehwag) gave us a decent start. We lost a few wickets in the middle but Raina played brilliant cricket. He played by instinct and went after the bowlers. It is nice to see youngsters play natural cricket,” he said.

“Raina was brilliant. He came at a time when he had to choose between playing big shots or getting himself in. He targeted bowlers and picked the vacant areas in the field,” Dhoni added.

Asked why he introduced Yuvraj Singh and Yusuf Pathan so early into the attack,the Indian captain said it was necessitated by the lack of a fifth bowling option.

“We don’t have the fifth specialist bowler. So it is very important to get their overs in between the 15th and 25th overs. As Harbhajan is a class act and has plenty of experience,he can bowl at any point in time.”

Talking about his measured 89-ball 84,Dhoni said,”I capitalised on the start given by Sachin and Viru. There was no real pressure on me,so I carved my innings. I feel it is all about partnership and not who is scoring. If you are the skipper or a team man it doesn’t matter who is scoring in the partnership. If you have a 50-run partnership in 60 balls,you should be happy. It doesn’t matter if Yuvraj has scored 40 and I have scored 10. Ultimately,it is victory that matters,” he said.

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