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'Slow fielding' or house divided?

india Updated: Feb 20, 2012 01:26 IST
Amol Karhadkar
Amol Karhadkar
Hindustan Times
Highlight Story

MS Dhoni's suspension was not the only talking point after the stinging defeat against Australia. The Indian skipper has perhaps triggered a debate inside and outside the dressing room after his elaborate explanation on the rotation policy adopted for the top order batting trio - Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir.

When he was asked if the three seniors - each one of them has been benched for at least a game in India's five games in the CB Series so far - will ever play together in the eleven during the series, Dhoni said, "That may happen. It will affect our fielding in a big way, which means there will be more pressure on the batsmen to score those extra 20 runs. But if the middle order does not perform consistently well you may have to go with the experienced guys at the top of the order."

Slow coaches

Did he mean the three batsmen are not good enough fielders for ODIs? "I'm not saying that they are not good or bad fielders, but what I said was they are safe fielders but on the slower side, which means ultimately the pressure will be on them. They will have to throw from a position where it will be difficult for them. There will be more pressure on their body and there will be more breakdowns," Dhoni explained.http://www.hindustantimes.com/Images/HTEditImages/Images/20feb_pg16a.jpg

"Also, what we need to see is, it's not only these three players that we are talking about. We also have quite a few others who are slow. It will just add on to that and we will be left with just two or three really good fielders. It's not that these fielders are bad but for this environment and these conditions and big outfields, they are slightly on the slower side. They will be exploited. Once the ball goes to them, the Australians or the Sri Lankans will try to exploit the twos or three runs. It means it will put more pressure on their body because the throwing needs to be good and the diving needs to be good, so they will under constant pressure.

Forced rotation
"So till we are in a scenario where we can afford to play Rohit, Raina…even Manoj Tiwary, it will be slightly easy for them (the seniors), they can take a break and come back fresh. It's not like in India where you hit a ball through the infield and it races to the boundary and a ball boy throws it back. Over here, you have to run, you can pull a muscle, you can pull your hamstring or things like this can happen."

Dhoni's comments, which come after Gambhir's strong remarks last week that the skipper should not have dragged the game against Australia till the very end, leaves one wondering whether the team is really united.