Death bowling woes occupy Dhoni's mind

“The last ten overs have always been a big concern for us,” Dhoni remarked. The worry, Dhoni pointed out, wasn’t a recent development. “We are not having (this problem) for the last 2-3 months, but we have been bothered by this for a long time now, over one and a half years. We have done well in between but we have really not been consistent.
“There are still some areas where we can improve and the end result will depend on those 5-6 overs. It is an area where we need to improve and we are putting a lot of effort.

“We have achieved the desired result on occasions but we have not been consistent with it,” he noted.

Despite a good record batting at number three, the Jharkhandi prefers batting down the order to lend solidity to the lower half. “I don’t know how many times I have batted at number three but I have done decently well,” he said.

“There are people who can fill in the gap at number three, so if you have the people who can do the job up the order, I can stay down the order and do a good job batting at five or six.

“It is the team that comes first. Batting at number five or six, you need a bit more experience to finish the games.

“Maybe if somebody gets groomed and analyses the game really well and is able to bat at number five and closes the game more often than not, then maybe I will try before it gets too late to bat at number three,” he observed.

Dhoni declined to divulge details about a few of the Test regulars travelling to South Africa to get acclimatised to the conditions before the start of the first Test in mid-December.

Eight senior players have been reportedly given permission to leave for South Africa immediately after the three-Test series at home against New Zealand, skipping the one-day series to get used to conditions in a country where India have never won a Test series to date.

“As of now, no confirmation has gone from the players’ side to the BCCI and nothing has been received from the BCCI either,” Dhoni offered.

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