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Munaf Patel likely to play second Test: Dhoni

Posted by on June 27, 2011 0 Comment

India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni said the team would seriously consider playing Munaf Patel as the third pacemen in the second Test.

He said “3-1 (three pacemen and one spinner) does not look a bad option to be honest.”

Asked about India not winning a single Test at this venue, Dhoni said, “We will try to start something that has not been started. We will stick to the basics. We have been practising quite hard, putting in that extra effort.”

On the areas the team needs to improve upon, Dhoni said, “It is a longer format and you do not want to make too many errors on the field. We also need to get rid of the tail quickly. The last wicket pair batted for a longer period than what we would have liked on the fourth day of the first Test.”

The Indian skipper felt the pace bowlers might don a crucial role in the Test. “Adapting to these conditions will be the key. It’s believed that compared to other pitches in the Caribbean, this one has more bounce. So you have to bowl a fuller length if you want to have a batsman bowled or leg before wicket.”

He added, “Ishant has played a lot of Test matches and he’s got different ideas against different batsmen. He tries to put pressure on the opposition all the time. He and Praveen Kumar form an ideal combination. Because one is swinging the ball and the other is a back-of-the-length bowler.”

Dhoni was pleased with the performance of the youngsters. “The way the guys have conducted themselves on and off the field has been big positive. I think they are learning a lot out of these games. They should not put too much pressure on themselves because it is Test cricket. They should relax mentally and enjoy their cricket.”

He felt the scoring-rate could increase on a sporting track with true bounce. “The ball will be coming on the bat and the bowlers will need to bowl in the right areas. Otherwise, the game can get away from you in half-a-session. Scoring was a lot harder in the first Test where the surface had inconsistent bounce.”

On off-spinner Harbhajan Singh being just four short of the 400-wicket-mark in Tests, Dhoni said. “He has been the pick of our bowlers. He leads the spin department and is doing really well. And he is an aggressive character. Whenever you need a breakthrough or need someone to be aggressive on the field, you will always find Harbhajan very eager to go after the opposition.”

About his rapidly improving record as captain, Dhoni said, ” I am fortunate to have a good bunch of players. Irrespective of of whether I am leading the Indian cricket team in any format or captaining my franchise in the IPL or the Champions League, how the players respond and adapt to your strategy is important. The players have always given more than 100 per cent on the field.” Hindu

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