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Dhoni: James a terrific bowler

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Manchester: On the eve of the fourth Test, India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni chose to focus on the game rather than ponder on the developments around the Ravindra Jadeja-James Anderson spat.

At the pre-match media conference, Dhoni insisted that Virat Kohli will soon return to form and lauded James Andersosn, the bowler.

The following are excerpts

If the bowlers need to improve

Twenty wickets are very important to win a Test match, but we cannot forget that it’s important to score runs as well. If you get 500-550 runs, the opposition batsmen will be under pressure and they would need to bat well for two-three sessions. In the last Test, we couldn’t take a lot of wickets… We dropped quite a few catches as well… Frankly, it didn’t look like we would take 20 wickets on that pitch. So we will see how the wicket is and then we will see who our best four-five bowlers are… Then we will decide.

Fitness of fast bowlers

The match will tell us how fresh they really are… But we have worked on their fitness and tried to manage their workloads… I believe we have done that really well. Hopefully, when we turn up on the field, they will be fresh and raring to go.

On slip catching

It’s a continuous process and we have been trying to improve on slip catching. Those three-four slip fielders we have are the best we have got right now…

Controlling the players

You have to look at it individually… I can take care of what is in my control. I can control how my players will behave on the field. Sometimes though a fast bowler might say something after taking a wicket. Those things are difficult to control, because by the time you come to the spot, the incident has already happened. So it is up to each individual to control themselves.

Virat Kohli’s poor form

What you need to see is that Virat is batting really well. At times, you get out to good deliveries or you just play a poor shot… But I feel he is batting well and is in good nick. So it is just a matter of time before he returns to form. He may not have converted his starts, but the kind of talent he has, we know a big innings is around the corner. Also, this is a phase that will improve him as a cricketer.

On Anderson as a bowler

He is a terrific bowler… What is good about him is how he comes up and confuses a batsman and then dismisses him. During the 2007 tour, he was working on his inswinger and didn’t have much control on it. Now, if you see, he is a different bowler and uses the inswinger as his strength. Overall, he is a terrific bowler and from the crowd’s perspective, this is the kind of bowler you want to see.

The weather conditions

We don’t have any control over the weather… There is a chill… So we would need a few pullovers.