Rankings not a concern, says Dhoni

Read more below

By OUR CORRESPONDENT
  • Published 2.12.09
  •  

Mumbai: India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni more or less confirmed on Tuesday at a press conference that he would be retaining Kanpur’s winning combination. However, Murali Vijay will be coming in for Gautam Gambhir, for the third Test.

The following are excerpts

 

The pitch…

Looks like the usual Mumbai track with a bit of bounce for the fast bowlers. The spinners, too, will like the extra bounce. The first one-and-a-half hours will be crucial as the seamers will get some help and, in the evening again, they can get some swing if can maintain the shine.

Amit Mishra’s return

Let’s see.

Whether Vijay will open the batting

Of course, he will open. That’s the only option we have. Harbhajan Singh missing practice. Normally, the day before a Test match, we have an optional practice session for the bowlers. So, it’s up to the bowler whether he wants to rest or go to the gym.

The CCI hosting a Test after 36 years

Every game is historic because winning a Test becomes a part of history. Of course, it is special to play at CCI. My first game here was the T20 against Australia. It has a nice atmosphere.

Gambhir’s decision to miss the match…

It’s up to an individual. If he feels he has to go, then he has to go… He would have arrived late tonight (Tuesday), not ideal before a Test match.

Whether he would have been allowed to leave had Lanka been 1-0 up

Yes, of course. Whether 1-0 up or 0-1 down, the situation is the same.

The No.1 ranking in Tests…

Winning the match will reflect in our ratings but we are not thinking about rankings. We don’t want to put ourselves under any pressure.

The slope on either side of the pitch

We have seen venues that have a bit of slope… But this is quite inclined, so the bowlers will have to put in more effort.

Sreesanth’s injury

He has hurt his finger. It is not a major injury, just a small niggle.

The bowling combination for the match

If you see the past records, whether for Tests, ODIs or domestic games, it is usually the spinners that come into action. The kind of soil that is used here assists spinners. But, at the same time, if you are playing three seamers you can get the top three or four batsmen out very quickly.

If he would turn to Sachin to do the job of the third seamer…

Seam up from Sachin? It will be tough right now. If it is needed… I think he can bowl a few overs, but that is unlikely.

Sri Lanka’s chances

They are a good side.... For every game, you have to start from scratch.

Indian batsmen handling Muralidharan well

If you see our schedule, we are playing every year and, so, have seen a lot of Murali. Hence he needs to work harder for the wickets. It’s not that he has lost anything.