Dhoni looks at part-timers

Feb. 26: Skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni indicated that India might go in with three seamers, resisting the temptation of playing a second spinner against England here on Sunday.

England’s weakness for leg-spin in well-known and with leggie Piyush Chawla troubling the Aussies during the practice match at the M. Chinnawamy stadium strip, it was touted as the main weapon. But Dhoni seemed to tilt towards the likes of part-timers Yusuf Pathan and Yuvraj Singh to share the fifth bowler’s role.

Excerpts from the interview:
Q How tempting is to play two spinners here, considering they had a good outing here during the warm-up game?
It’s a tough one because if you play just two seamers, your bowling becomes similar. Of course we have variations when it comes to spin department but if we are playing three seamers and one spinner then the part-timers can also do the job. Of course, it’s tempting and a challenging decision to make, hopefully, the best XI will get selected.

Q Sehwag has said he wants to bat 50 overs, do you think he can make an impact even if he bats for a lesser number of overs?
He has done that at times when we needed him to bat for more than 30 overs but his most important role is to bat aggressive and give us a good start from which the middle order can capitalise. If he bats for 50 overs, I don’t have a problem but the opposition will surely have!

Q How much of a threat will be Kevin Pietersen to India’s plans?
It’s not about one individual. There are players in each squad who can change the course of the game. But I still feel it’s important to have a strategy for the whole team because it will be very tough if you are targeting one individual.

Q How tough is it not to play Suresh Raina in these conditions?
It’s a tough one but the one big positive is that all the batsmen are in good knick. Virat Kohli has been in tremendous form and it will be always tough to pick one of the two. Yuvraj Singh has the edge in bowling left-arm spin and we desperately need that as we usually play with only four bowlers. I think its a difficult decision but what we need to see is once all three (Virat, Raina and Yuvraj) start scoring then it will be fight for slots.

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