'It's been a fluctuating series'

“The fielding will be crucial because every 10 extra runs the opposition scores can count at the end of the game.”

Dhoni admitted that the batting was a major area of concern, but said the team wouldn’t put too much pressure on Virender Sehwag, the only batsman among the runs. “I don’t want to put pressure on Sehwag since he is a free-flowing cricketer,” the skipper remarked.

“He is a naturally aggressive cricketer. He should back himself and bat the way he bats. Since it is the final, a contributive effort will be needed. But if we win because of individual brilliance, the team won’t mind it. If there is a batsman who is in form and he scores runs, it will be easier for the rest.”

Not ruling out playing the extra batsman or himself moving up the batting order, Dhoni added, “The winning combination is important but we have to look at what track is provided. If we feel the wicket is dry and not hard, then Ravindra Jadeja will get a spot. But if we feel it won’t help the spinners and we want to play an extra batsman, Jadeja will have to miss out.”

Whilst he might be worried at the lack of runs from his experienced duo of Suresh Raina and Yuvraj Singh, Dhoni chose to put on a brave face. “If you look worried about something, then the players will also be worried. This has been a series of ups and down not only for our batsmen but for all the three teams. The new ball has been important. It will be crucial not too lose too many wickets early and that will be the strategy of the two teams.

“We have the same expectations of every member of the playing eleven, but when you have played for the country for six-10 years, then the burden is more, there is added responsibility. Expectations levels are more.” Hoping for a repeat of the intensity on show in the do-or-die game against New Zealand on Wednesday, the skipper said, “The first 15 overs, last 10-12 overs and the batting Power Play are important periods.

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