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Weary Dhoni plumps for rotation

Skipper MS Dhoni will continue to marshall his troops from behind the stumps despite soreness in his fingers thanks to the amount of keeping he has had to do on the England tour. Sanjjeev Karan Samyal reports.

cricket Updated: Aug 31, 2011 01:54 IST
Sanjjeev Karan Samyal

Skipper MS Dhoni will continue to marshall his troops from behind the stumps despite soreness in his fingers thanks to the amount of keeping he has had to do on the England tour.

His hands have taken plenty of pounding as his bowlers, particularly seamers, sent down a mammoth number of overs as England batsmen piled on the runs during Test series. As India gear up for the limited-overs series, the Indian skipper expressed concern over the heavy workload of his players.

Rotation on cards?
"I think we'll have to (look at rotation). The schedule looks cramped and it is important to give players rest. Somebody like Suresh Raina has been participating in all the formats for a long time now. It's more to deal with the mental aspect than physical, and a bit of good rest helps you keep away the injuries," Dhoni said.

India will hope for a turnaround starting with the T20 tie. Former England 'keeper, Paul Nixon, believes Dhoni's poor form behind the stumps is due to his sore fingers.

Dhoni admitted he was in discomfort. "If majority of your ten fingers have injury, then it becomes difficult, especially in these conditions. It's also bowler-specific. I have had problems with Ishant than with Sreesanth and Praveen. Once you come here, a few injuries happen. But it's nothing to worry about."

Different ball game
Given their unnerving experience in Tests, Indian batsmen may be paranoid about facing swing and seam bowling when they go against Stuart Broad & Co. once again.

However, what will be sweet music to their ears. Local experts believe that the batters won't find it as tough in the limited-overs leg. Tim Boon, the former Leicestershire coach, who was at India's last warm-up game against his former team on Monday, said: "It is really simple: The red ball swings a lot over here, the white ball doesn't. The ball in Tests has been the downfall of the Indian batsmen. Expect the Indian batsmen to come hard in the limited-overs games," said Boon, who was with England as Duncan Fletcher's assistant from 2001 to 2005.

England T20 captain Stuart Broad was not willing to write off India. "It's a different format. The Indians are strong in formats which are played with white balls. Besides, there will be new players coming in and we haven't seen a huge amount of them," said Broad.

Broad urged his team to capitalise on the momentum. "The Tests will be hard to forget and our confidence is high. We'll try to build on the gains of the summer. The pressure of expectations has increased, but it is not something to be scared of. We'll look to express ourselves through our natural game."