“If you compare our bowling to our batting, you can say that it is a bit weaker,” the Indian skipper said on Saturday afternoon. “But if you look at the long-term objective, there’s plenty that we can get out of this series. There’ll be new young bowlers who will be getting exposure to international cricket, so overall it’s good for Indian cricket.”
Dhoni said the young attack must strike the right balance between aggression and patience. “It’s vital to be aggressive, but at the same time, being patient is important because these are wickets where you won’t get too much help,” he remarked.
“You have to wait for the right opportunity, which may be early in the morning or late in the evening because that’s when the ball starts doing something because of the sea. If things don’t go your way, it’s important to keep bowling in the right channels and put pressure on the batsmen so that they make mistakes and get out.”
Despite winning a Test in each of their last two visits here, India haven’t won a series in Sri Lanka since 1993. “It’s not about the past, it’s about the present,” Dhoni countered. “You have to do everything well, but at the same time, since the opposition is a very good one, especially at home, you have to be always ahead of them. The start kind of sets the tone. We will try our best, that’s what I can say.
I am not really a great believer in predicting outcomes but we have to give more than 100 percent because the conditions are more in favour of the Sri Lankan team. They know the conditions better than us but it will be a good exposure for a lot of youngsters who are part of the side. It will add to their experience.”