Friday, December 11, 2009

Dhoni: Inconsistency a concern

According to captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni India's inconsistent performance in Twenty20 is an area of concern.

Dhoni reckons the only way to improve in this format is to play more matches and adopt a different mindset.

"We have done well in Tests and one-dayers but our performance in Twenty20s has not been that good. You just play one game before a one-day series and that has not helped. It was disappointing the way we performed in the last Twenty20 World Cup. We have to improve", Dhoni told reporters.

"The problem of playing a Twenty20 game before a series is that you treat it as a preparation for the series, you think about the series and not the Twenty20. In the last match in Nagpur, we were outplayed", Dhoni said.

"Hopefully before the next World Cup we would get it right. We will have the third edition of the IPL before that which I think will help. IPL will give us the right preparation", he said.
Asked whether the Indians should play more Twenty20 matches instead of one-dayers to get into the groove, the Indian captain said, "We will play whatever is offered to us.

"If we play more Twenty20s, you will say we are not playing enough one-dayers. What is important is that there should not be an overdose."

Dhoni refused to blame the bowlers alone for the defeat against Sri Lanka in the first game in Nagpur, saying most of the middle order batsmen did not contribute much.

"Twenty20 is a batsman's game. The bowlers will go for runs as the batsmen look for runs. Just because some bowlers gave away lot of runs does not mean they are bad. It happens in Twenty20 and scores of over 200 runs are quite common nowadays", he explained.

"If we start worrying just because the bowlers did not ball well in one game, we will have to worry for the whole year," he quipped.

Dhoni reckoned the Mohali track would assist the pace bowlers to some extent while the batsmen will also be able to score freely.

"At this time of the year, there will be some swing. The Mohali pitch is known to have some pace, so I think it will help the fast bowlers", he said.

Asked whether dew will be a factor here, Dhoni said "I don't think dew will be a big factor. They will spray the chemical, so I think it should not be a problem."

On paceman Ishant Sharma's fine show in the initial overs during the last game in Nagpur, Dhoni said "Ishant is really bowling well. He is looking in rhythm and swinging the ball."

After lapses in Nagpur, Indians work hard on fielding

Looking to make up for their fielding lapses in Nagpur, the Indian team toiled hard with some new drills included in their practice session.

Eyeing to level the two-match Twenty20 series after paying a heavy price in the first match due to sloppy fielding, Dhoni's men devoted nearly an hour to improve this department of the game.
The newly appointed fielding consultant Mike Young worked with the team and made them do some interesting drills, which the players seemed to enjoy.

He called the players first in batches while some others were doing their batting practice session.

R Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja and Dinesh Karthik were among those who were called first for the fielding practice by Young.

Later, others, including Dhoni, Virender Sehwag, Yuvraj Singh, Gautam Gambhir, Yusuf Pathan, Ishant Sharma and Sudeep Tyagi, assembled for a larger fielding session.

To check the reflexes of his team members, Young made a special drill for them. He also made them practice with aerial catches and throwing at the wicket.

Later, while interacting with reporters at pre-match press conference, Dhoni re-iterated that his side was at the backfoot in the Nagpur game, which the islanders won by 29 runs, due to sloppy fielding.

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