Bhajji, Praveen turned things around: Dhoni

"We can say that we lost the first match because we didn’t bat well or bowl well but we took a lot of positives from that game. The way Praveen and Harbhajan batted, the momentum swung towards us slightly and then we performed well in that second match in bowling, batting and in the fielding departments,” said Dhoni here on Thursday.

Talking about the Kotla wicket, Dhoni said that the wicket looked dry and expected it to keep low and hence a bit difficult to set a target. “When I saw the Champions League matches, the wicket was a bit on the slower side, it was keeping low and turning a lot. It is very difficult to set a target. If you get off to a good start in the first few overs then you can really set targets like the next ten-over target. So if the character of the wicket changes, you can accordingly shuffle and see what is a good score,” he pointed out.

Dhoni also refused to admit that this was one of the weaker Australian sides to have traveled to India as a spate of injuries has left the visitors lacking in resources.

Worry for Aussies

Bowling in the death overs has been a big worry for Australia in the one-day series. In Vadodara, they gave away 115 runs in the last 15 overs. It got worse in Nagpur as they went for 108 in the last ten overs, figures that are not lost on Ricky Ponting.

“We haven’t got that right,” admitted the skipper after Australia’s practice session here at the Kotla on Friday. Ponting felt the absence of Brett Lee was one of the reasons for Australia’s poor performance in the closing overs. “Brett is not there and he is the one who has been our bowler in the death overs,” he said. “It also depends on who is batting, too. If you are having someone like Dhoni at the end, you are always going to go for a few more runs. We know how dangerous he can be towards the end.”
The right-hander felt there was little room for error for the bowlers in this form of the game.

“The way one-day cricket is played these days, you are just a fraction off and you just go. I think we were just a fraction off the other night. We have identified the areas we were not good at the other night and it’s just a matter of turning them around,” he noted.

Maintaining that spinners may have a big role to play on Saturday, Ponting felt pacemen too would be hard to deal with. “Spinners will play a big role as in the Champions League, when the ball turned quite a bit. If the fast bowlers bowl well, they are going to be the hardest to score off.

“For spinners, because it’s turning so much, the margin of error becomes small. Rotating the strike against spinners might be a bit easy than the faster bowlers. Hopefully, our fast bowlers can have a bit more impact than they had the other day,” Ponting said.

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