Our strength in bowling is not pace, says Mahendra Singh Dhoni

India will be looking to defend their number one ranking and for that they need to beat New Zealand.

Napier | Updated: January 18, 2014 2:57 pm
MS Dhoni MS Dhoni said the series would be a good for experience since the World Cup will be hosted jointly by Australia and New Zealand. PTI

Indian skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni today ruled out experimenting too much with his settled team in the series against New Zealand but said the five-match rubber should serve as a good exposure to some of his players before the World Cup.

Since Yuvraj Singh is not in the side, there is question mark over the number four spot in the batting order. Dhoni was non-committal about Suresh Raina coming up the order, a role he did not perform with much success against Australia in October.

“We will see what suits us best and then we will move ahead. As of now, after the Greg Chappell era, experimentation is something we have done away with. We don’t really change too many things anymore. We will give chances to a few players and hopefully they will rise up to the occasion and accept the challenges that they are pushed into,” Dhoni said ahead of the series-opener tomorrow.

Dhoni said the series would be a good for experience since the World Cup will be hosted jointly by Australia and New Zealand.

“It’s good exposure for our players who have not played in New Zealand before. In the bowling department particularly, there are some new additions to the squad. Wind will be a factor here and when you are exposed to different conditions, you work hard on your game.

“So it will be a good experience for them. In turn, it will be good for the team because we will have players who have already played in these conditions and particularly at venues where we will be playing the 2015 World Cup. So it should be a good tour for us,” said the Indian captain.

Indian team arrived in New Zealand almost a full week ahead of the first ODI and it gave them ample time to reflect on the conditions here and prepare for the month-long trip comprising of five ODIs and two Tests.

“Our preparation has been good. We were given very good facilities. The ground where we practiced, Nelson Park, we were given a centre wicket which was good practice. Net bowlers were also made available to us. We have also looked into each and every aspect of our game, not only batting and bowling, but also fielding because it will play a vital role,” Dhoni pointed out.

“When you are batting you have to pick a particular side where you are looking to play your shots. The straight boundaries are quite long and there is a strong breeze, so hitting down the ground will add ten yards. Bowling in this wind can be tiring and also you need to use its direction well. The grounds are not big, so the fielders need to judge where to stand so that batsmen do not steal doubles from you.

We need to be intelligent about how to adapt to conditions here,” Dhoni added, talking about the various aspects that the team has been working on.

Unlike many grounds in New Zealand, McLean Park doesn’t use a drop-in pitch although the stadium is used for rugby matches as well. Since it is the off-season here for rugby, the pitch for Sunday’s game was ready ahead of schedule.

“The wicket looks good. It is a dry and hard pitch, well suited for ODI cricket. Fast bowlers will be able to get that extra bounce. Intelligent bowlers will be able to use wind to their advantage. Normally the ball swings for 10-15 overs, but here the swing might be prolonged a bit. Our strength in bowling is not pace, but how smartly we can use the conditions. The bowlers will have something from the pitch for sure, but once the batsmen settle down, they will love the pace and bounce on offer,” opined Dhoni.

India will be looking to defend their number one ranking and for that they need to beat New Zealand, who are ranked eighth currently. It is easier said than done, away from the sub-continent, especially since the hosts have some momentum coming into this contest after beating the West Indies in the two T20s and holding them at 2-2 in the ODIs.

“New Zealand have a nice bunch of players who contribute in all departments, be it with the bat and ball, and their fielding is quite good too. They have always done well in major tournaments and are a fantastic side to play against.

“They have quite a few new players who bring their own strengths to the table. But if we concentrate on them too much, sometimes you can tend to over plan things. It is important to focus on our strengths and work on our weaknesses,” the Indian skipper signed off, sounding cautious as well as optimistic.

For all the latest Sports News, download Indian Express App now

First Published on: January 18, 2014 2:10 pm
  1. S
    sn som
    Jan 18, 2014 at 12:31 pm
    What a JOKE MSD ? India has no spinner worthy of his salt in the game today - gone are the days when India used to have the thinking EAS who would get a wicket within the first 3 overs he bowled with a new ball barely 4 overs old and that too on pitches outside India, where Bedi would outthink the batsmen with flight and squeeze the new ball and decieve the batsmen on the up and a BS Chandrasekhar would bowl an unbelieveable ball that even the best of the era would be baffled with and a sharp Venkat who could spin anybody anywhere into giving his wicket on a platter - after all what strength does todays India have in this dept nothing at all - an ASHWIN who fails the moment he steps out of the flat spinning tracks of India and a Jadeja who gets a wicket only on the grounds that he bowls straight......so what are you talking about bowling is not pace but our strength lies in bowling - Do you think people are fools to believe you ?

    IPL Fixtures


    30th T20

    08:00 PM (IST) April 26, 2017 .

    Rising Pune Supergiant vs Kolkata Knight Riders

    Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium, Pune

    31st T20

    08:00 PM (IST) April 27, 2017 .

    Royal Challengers Bangalore vs Gujarat Lions

    M.Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bengaluru

    32nd T20

    04:00 PM (IST) April 28, 2017 .

    Kolkata Knight Riders vs Delhi Daredevils

    Eden Gardens, Kolkata

    33rd T20

    08:00 PM (IST) April 28, 2017 .

    Kings XI Punjab vs Sunrisers Hyderabad

    Punjab Cricket Association Stadium, Mohali

    34th T20

    04:00 PM (IST) April 29, 2017 .

    Rising Pune Supergiant vs Royal Challengers Bangalore

    Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium, Pune