Bowling might have emerged as the weak link for India in the World Cup but skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni today said the team would still stick to seven batsmen and leave the fifth bowler’s slot to part-timers in the match against Ireland here tomorrow.
“It’s a tricky one. You should always back your strength. At times you find that there are not enough runs, maybe 30 runs short. With Yusuf (Pathan) being part of the side, the fifth bowler’s slot can be rotated between him and Yuvraj. We will be inclined to play with seven batsmen,” he said.
Dhoni indicated that the team would prefer chasing instead of setting a target if it wins the toss in the much-anticipated World Cup encounter against the giant-killers who upstaged England in their previous match. “Batting under lights is quite easy because the wicket is behaving better under lights. In the second half the ball comes on to the bat nicely. There is no extra pace for fast bowlers. In the afternoon ball stops a bit and spinners get help, it becomes better placed later,” Dhoni said.
The track at the Chinnaswamy Stadium has turned out to be a graveyard for bowlers, producing totals in excess of 300 runs in the first two matches and Dhoni is not expecting the conditions to be any different tomorrow.
“More often than not, you will get a flat wicket in India and, in worst scenario, you will get a turner, we do not see seamer-friendly tracks.”
“That is what you can expect tomorrow also, and it’s difficult to say whether it will turn or not. The last two games we have seen were high-scoring games with close to 1400 runs being scored. We will hopefully have a high-scoring game,” he said.
Going back to the wicket, he said, “If there is anything for the bowlers, could be slightly on the slower side, may be have a little more bounce. It is amazing how runs are being chased.”
“We don’t want to play on a tailor-made wicket. Bangalore is known to produce runs and batsmen will have the upper hand.”
Though the bowlers are yet to fire, the Indian batting has been in full flow in the tournament, and Dhoni is pleased with that. “What is good for the side is everybody is scoring runs, it’s more about battle of slots. Yuvraj (Singh) loves batting at number four, Virat (Kohli) has been batting well in recent times and he can bat well against both pacers and spinners. At number fifth, sixth or seventh, he can’t play to potential but, at times, you need to promote Yuvraj or Yusuf to accelerate,” he said.