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Lights not bright enough for Dhoni

Chennai Super Kings skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni is not too happy with the floodlights at some venues in South Africa, especially Buffalo Park here and the St George’s Park in Port Elizabeth, reports Rakesh Thapliyal.

cricket Updated: May 06, 2009 00:43 IST
Rakesh Thapliyal

Chennai Super Kings skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni is not too happy with the floodlights at some venues in South Africa, especially Buffalo Park here and the St George’s Park in Port Elizabeth. Dhoni had earlier complained about inadequate practice facilities at certain grounds.

The India skipper, who usually doesn’t call a spade by any other name, said: “The Buffalo Park here doesn’t have adequate floodlights. Fielders and batsmen alike are finding it difficult to sight the ball. The floodlights at Port Elizabeth too are inadequate and players are faced with the same problem there,” he said.

The skipper seemed disturbed by the number of dropped catches and a missed run-out chance against the Deccan Chargers whom Chennai Super Kings thrashed by 78 runs on Monday.

A couple of those dropped catches were high ones and despite fielders getting under the ball, they could not hold on. Dhoni though avoided a direct reply on whether bad lights were the reason why catches were dropped. “During practice sessions we are used to taking 100-150 catches and yet we are dropping some easy chances. This is a big concern and we will try to rectify it before the next match, but there is no denying the fact that catches are being dropped.

“This is only the league stage. If we miss even a single catch in the knock-out round, it can change the course of the match…you can be out of the competition,” said Dhoni.

Deccan Chargers’ skipper Adam Gilchrist though did not comment on the floodlights despite scoring a duck and losing by a huge margin.

On his first-ball dismissal, the former Australia wicketkeeper said: “The ball swung more than expected. It happens in cricket, you are out first ball.”

Asked whether he feared the match would go out of his hand when Deccan Chargers’ Dwayne Smith and Rohit Sharma were smashing bowlers all over the ground, Dhoni replied: “Not at all. A target of 179 is pretty big. But I would concede that more than Smith, I was wary of Rohit because he can play the spinners well. Smith, I knew, would perish once spin was introduced.”