Onus on pace bowlers

“The pacers’ role will be important. But adapting to these conditions is the key. It’s believed that compared to other pitches here, this one has more bounce. So, you have to bowl a fuller length if you want to get a batsman out, especially if you want to get him lbw or bowled. So, the length will be crucial and bowlers who will adapt quicker will get more wickets compared to others,” Dhoni said.

The wicketkeeper-batsman, standing 59 runs shorts of 3000 Test runs, said batsmen need to be patient on such pitches. “Before you know, the game can slip away from you in half a session. When you have a wicket like this, you are going to have lots of catching fielders.

“And the bowlers too will have the pressure of avoiding bad deliveries. Moreover, the average run-rate is slightly up when you play on wickets like these, where the pace is quick and the ball comes on.

“The last wicket was a bit different. After playing for a while, it was not really easy for the batsmen to score at will unless the bowlers bowled bad deliveries. It might be a different wicket but you cannot predict anything about them. So you need to be patient,” he said.

Dhoni also cleared doubts surrounding Munaf Patel’s fitness. “All the guys are fit and available for selection. But we have not decided on the combination. We’ll see the wicket before the start of the game. 3-1 doesn’t look like a bad option, to be honest,” Dhoni said.

Picking three seamers means leg-spinner Amit Mishra will have to sit out, and Dhoni said conditions determine team combinations. “It will become slightly easy if the wicket demands three seamers to be played in the game. More often than not, the pitch does favour the seamers a bit more compared to spinners, like the one here. In that case, it will become slightly easier to pick the bowling department,” he said.

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