Colombo: On the eve of India’s World T20 Super Eights clash against Australia, Mahendra Singh Dhoni believes that dropping a batsman to accommodate a bowler will be one of the toughest decisions he has taken so far in his career.
At a press conference, he dismissed the threat about chin music and said the team will concentrate on areas that need attention.
The following are excerpts
If the real fun begins now
We have been having fun till now as well... But the competition will get tougher from this stage. Importance of every tie will multiply now. So I think it will be good for the spectators.
The dilemma with spinners and if there were any fitness concerns
Today being an optional session, some players didn’t come for practice. According to the physio, everyone is fit. As far as the playing XI is concerned, you will have to wait till Friday. We will, most probably, play with five bowlers, but the combination will depend on the conditions and the wicket, which will be a fresh one… It also depends upon how the wicket will be before the match.
On how difficult is it to drop a top batsman to accommodate five bowlers
Well, definitely it’s one of the toughest decisions that I’ve taken so far, but we have to see what fits the combination the best. We will have to wait and watch… It will have to be a good decision, because ultimately that’s what matters.
The batting order...
We bat according to slots. Since it’s a short format, we look to send in batsmen who suit to that situation. A lot of it depends upon the number of overs we are left with.
The role of openers
Most of the openers, if you see around the world, are all aggressive. We look to get off to good starts and I feel it’s important to get off to a good start with the new ball because you can put pressure on the opposition bowlers. If you look at our openers, they are among the best, they have got some fabulous partnerships, they run well between the wickets, so I think they complement each other well.
If captaincy is a bit different in this format
Captaincy remains the same. You hardly do anything different. You have different kinds talents and resources that you have to use.
On how he deals with on-field and off-field issues
Well, the most important thing is that how understanding your team-mates are. Yes, there are a lot of issues that will be floating off the field, but the important thing is to ignore them as much as possible.
Coming to off-field issues, for me no news channels, no newspapers and no phones. So that really helps if you haven’t heard anything. Once you are done with the tournament you can think about all these things.
Any plans for Shane Watson and David Warner
They are one of the best, the reason being they have done consistently well. Both of them play aggressive cricket and look to score as many runs as possible in the first six overs. But we won’t like to cross our boundary as in whatever is our strength, we would like bowl into those areas.
Chin music and facing up to the Aussie pace attack
From the last five years whenever we have had press conferences we say some new things but they have been talking about the same thing… There’s nothing new from their side to say. We are concentrating where we have to work upon…
If they are more comfortable against short-pitched balls...
Well if you see the side, it hasn’t changed for quite some time now. Most of the players who are part of the side have played decent amount of ODIs, T20s and Test cricket. This means they have got more exposure and they know what to do. But short ball is as much of a trouble to us as it is to anyone else.