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Dhoni exhorts his team to play consistent cricket

Caught in a must-win situation in the second Test against South Africa to keep the series alive after the drubbing at Centurion, India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni exhorted his players to play "consistent cricket" befitting the World's No.1 team.

cricket Updated: Dec 25, 2010 20:24 IST

Caught in a must-win situation in the second Test against South Africa to keep the series alive after the drubbing at Centurion, India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni exhorted his players to play "consistent cricket" befitting the World's No.1 team.

"We have played some good, consistent cricket throughout the year. Everyone has contributed... bowlers, batsmen and fielders.

"The part-timers have contributed in getting wickets, the lower-order has chipped in with crucial runs. As a team we have had a good calendar year. There are plenty of positives in the kind of cricket we have played," Dhoni said on the eve of the Boxing Day Test.

Dhoni said the bowlers will have to step up their performance.

"Zaheer Khan will be back in the side, which is a big bonus for us. At the same time, we know the other bowlers have the talent. It's just that they need to execute the plans well, and at times they have to be patient.

"If they take care of these things, the bowlers will do well. As we saw in the last game, we were not able to get even 10 wickets. It is definitely a big worry if you want to win the Test," Dhoni said.

Dhoni said he was not sure how the wicket will play.

"I am not sure how the Test wicket is going to play, but on a good day, when the wicket's flat, it's a fantastic place to play."

"The wicket looks quite green. But as far as I can recollect, I played a Ranji Trophy game in my debut first-class season against Vadodara at the IPCL ground, which was even greener," Dhoni said.

He said they will play three seamers and a spinner for maintaining a better over-rate.

"The last game where we played three pacers and a spinner, we were 21 minutes short. If we play with four fast bowlers, I will definitely get a match ban due to slow over-rate," said Dhoni.

"The spinner can have a control on the proceedings. When you have a wicket like this, the batsmen look to cash in on the spinners. If you bowl to a good line and length you can always contribute to the game, irrespective of the wicket."