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MSD looks for an Indian face to plug the hole in bowling

cricket Updated: Apr 06, 2010 22:37 IST
Nikhilesh Bhattacharya
Nikhilesh Bhattacharya
Hindustan Times
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Mahendra Singh Dhoni desperately needs an Indian medium-pacer who can bowl his four overs without getting hit all over the park.

In Doug Bollinger, the Chennai Super Kings finally found a bowler who can hurry the batsmen with pace, take wickets and keep it tight. Albie Morkel's big-hitting against the Rajasthan Royals means he will continue to play as an allrounder.

The spinners, Muttiah Muralitharan and Shadab Jakati, have held their own.

What has hurt the Super Kings is the failure of the third — and before the arrival of Bollinger, the second — medium-pacer. Lakshmipathy Balaji, Joginder Sharma, Manpreet Gony and Sudeep Tyagi have been tried, but all of them have bled runs.

Balaji is the only one who has gone at under 10 runs-an-over and also picked up a few wickets. But it is learnt that he is carrying a niggle, though there is no official word from the Super Kings.

On the other hand, the presence of Bollinger, Morkel and Muralitharan in the XI leaves only one foreign player's slot vacant and that has to go to a batsman, be it Matthew Hayden or Mike Hussey. So Makhaya Ntini or Thissara Perera cannot be drafted in.

All the Indian medium-pacers in the Super Kings' squad are hamstrung by their lack of pace, something that also dogged their bowling coach Venkatesh Prasad during his playing days. Yet Prasad enjoyed a long international career with disciplined bowling, clever variation of pace and movement off the wicket. Dhoni will hope his bowlers can learn the same from him.