|Shane Watson is congratulated by George Bailey after the former’s century, in Nagpur, on Wednesday
Nagpur: Captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni stood by his bowlers although they took a pounding at the hands of Australian batsmen and conceded 350 runs for the second time in the series.
According to Dhoni, the pitches being a graveyard for bowlers and keeping just four fielders outside the circle have only made bowlers’ job tougher. However, he’s confident they will eventually come to terms with the new fielding restrictions.
“The new rules have put the bowlers under pressure. They are not used to these rules. The entire situation has become more challenging for the bowlers.
“I really don’t know which is a good or a bad performance for bowlers, considering these new rules and the kind of pitches on offer… Really don’t know what could be the ideal bowling figures for bowlers on these surfaces. Overall, I’m very happy that we chased down a big total again and have squared the series,” Dhoni said after the match.
“Some bowlers feel it’s better to use bowling machines even during a match. But I’m sure they will adjust to it because its bowlers who adjust quickly with the new rules, as has been seen over the last 20 to 30 years,” he added.
Dhoni agreed that he could have let Shami or Bhuvneshwar bowl their full quota instead of relying too much on spinners. “Yes, we could have done that. Maybe playing three spinners was a mistake.
“But Australian batsmen play fast bowling pretty well and we also thought they might perish while trying to play the big shots against spinners as the boundaries, here, are quite long,” he reasoned.
Dhoni also lauded Virat Kohli for yet another match-winning century and for channelising his aggression to the benefit of the team.
“Virat has grown as a player. He has always grabbed opportunities and loves to keep performing well. Importantly, he is channelising the aggression he has got in him to the team’s benefit.
“Equally important was Rohit’s (Sharma) knock, as well as that of Shikhar (Dhawan). They hardly played any rash shot throughout their respective innings. And when openers get the team off to such a strong start, it brings about a good bit of composure in the dressing room,” Dhoni pointed out.
George Bailey, on the other hand, seemed to be having no ideas as to how his bowlers can thwart Kohli.
“Maybe we need somebody in the crowd to throw a thing or two at Kohli to get him out,” he said in jest, adding: “We just have to come up with good balls and devise a way to get him out early.
“There’s no other way. But all said and done, I believe we are playing good cricket as we’ve pushed India all the way in all the matches so far.”