As Indian team suffered yet another defeat, skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni is struggling to identify his playing XI for the high-voltage World Cup clash against arch-rivals Pakistan.
India lost its first warm-up game against top contenders Australia by 106 runs today and now have one more game left against Afghanistan on Tuesday before the main tournament starts February 14.
“It has been difficult for us. When the batsmen click, the bowlers don’t and when the bowlers do, the batsmen don’t.
We need to sort that out. What’s important is that we have one more game in our hand and before playing Pakistan it would be good to have the first XI in our hand,” Dhoni said at the post-match presentation ceremony.
The Indian captain though said “there are plenty of positives in the game” for them.
Asked what he was looking at for identifying the final XI, Dhoni said there were quite a few things to watch.
“It will depend on our utility cricketers. If the pitches remain as it is, we need our spinners to use the bounce more.
It’s a very long tournament and what we have seen is the team that does well is the one that comes from the bottom and moves rapidly up,” he said.
Dhoni was out first ball on Sunday, trying to hit Pat Cummins for a six but was caught at boundary by Mitchell Starc. Asked about his dismissal, he said,”I just played my shot with so many runs needed and the fielder up, but I never really thought it would go right to Starc.”
Australian captain George Bailey was naturally happy with his side’s performance.
“Great performance for us. I think you always can improve. Early wickets tonight would be nice to blow the game out of the water. We’d like to have lost a few less wickets and I’d like to Starc to catch with both hands,” he said.
Bailey said they would love to have one more win under their belt before the opening game against England.
“We have UAE next at the MCG, handy to get into the conditions there. Huge game against England, India are playing Pakistan as well. Getting momentum, getting confidence will be big,” he said.