'Conditions made it tough for bowlers'

Indian skipper says wet ball ruled out swing for his pace-less attack

“You have to make sure you are using the available resources,” replied Dhoni when queried if he missed the services a senior bowler like Ashish Nehra. “It is not about the players who are not part of the side. It is very important that the five seamers and the two spinners make a difference in this series.”

Dhoni felt lack of pace was going to hurt India if conditions weren’t conducive for swing bowling. “Defending at the Rose Bowl became a bit difficult because none of our bowlers is real quick. They look to swing the ball. When it doesn’t swing and the ball gets wet, it becomes difficult. One of their strengths is variations in pace but when the ball gets wet, it comes nicely on to the bat and that variation in pace doesn’t really work. It becomes difficult in conditions like these when the outfield is damp and the ball gets wet,” he explained.

R Vinay Kumar’s bowling at the death, Dhoni pointed out, hasn’t come off well. “I thought Vinay bowled well (in the practice games) and did well in the death overs there. Praveen does not have that kind of pace to bowl in the death overs. Vinay was bowling well in the warm-up matches but in the last two games, we haven’t really seen (good) death bowling,” he remarked.

Dhoni hoped Ravindra Jadeja’s arrival would help address India’s fifth bowler problem. “Once Jadeja becomes part of the side, he is the kind of part-timer who can really bowl well. Not to forget when Yuvraj is there, we could manoeuvre around. It is difficult when you have just two part-time bowlers – Virat Kohli and Suresh Raina. Those are the four overs in a game like this that you have to make sure you don’t give away too many runs but when your first four bowlers are also going for runs, it becomes difficult,” he offered.

Already hit by injuries to several first-choice players, India had every reason to be wary when opener Ajinkya Rahane required a runner towards the end of his innings. “When he was turning, he felt a twitch but it is not a serious issue and he won’t miss the next game as of now. He has taken the needed precautions. The physio said it was a bit of an inflammation but I don’t really know. As of now, he is close to 99 to 100 percent sure of playing the next game.”

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