Friday, January 1, 2010

"India missing bowling, fielding coaches"

MS Dhoni said India is missing bowling and fielding coaches, resulting in an increased workload for chief coach Gary Kirsten.
Talking to reporters on the eve of the team's departure for the tri-series in Bangladesh, Dhoni said Kirsten had his plate full and the team was indeed missing bowling and fielding coaches.

"To some extent, it does (affect the team). You need specialist coach to get the best out of the players. Gary looks after so many things. He has all those team meetings, talking to batsmen, bowlers and then working out strategies.

He has a lot on his plate," Dhoni said.

"It does help to have specialist bowling and fielding coaches for the bowlers and fielders. But that's the way it and it's now an administrative issue," he said.

Both the posts are lying vacant since BCCI sacked bowling coach Venkatesh Prasad and fielding coach Robin Singh in October after the team fared badly in the Twenty20 World Cup in England and the Champions Trophy in South Africa.

Even though BCCI roped in Australian Mike Young for a short stint during the recent Twenty20 and ODI series against Sri Lanka, the team is now again without a fielding coach.

"Mike is not available for this tour. He came with the basic techniques and went slow as he did not want the players to get injured. He won't be around but with the help of other support staff it's important to go ahead with that. Fielding is one aspect of the game that is important whatever be the format of the game," Dhoni said.

Accepting the need to lift the team's fielding standard, Dhoni said, "We dropped quite a few catches in the last series. We will try to rectify that. Whatever good fielders we have we will try to make them the best in the world because it really helps, especially in the middle overs, with four good fielders inside the circle who can save the singles," he said.

Dhoni was also candid enough to admit that the bowlers were grappling with issues like bowling at death and slow over-rate, which incurred the India captain a two-match ban during the ODI series against the Lankans.

"We struggled early in the series but improved a lot in the later matches. We have struggled a bit in the death overs but if we can do something in patches, we can do it consistently as well. We can restrict any good side to a decent total. It's slightly improving but I think we can manage it," Dhoni said.

"Regarding over-rate, we have a lot of part-timers, who are mostly spinners and they can save us time. We have (Virender) Sehwag, Yuvraj (Singh), (Suresh) Raina and Rohit Sharma as well. So if we can save time up front, it is not going to be an issue," Dhoni explained.

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