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World T20: Dhoni switches tactics to guard the boundaries

india Updated: Mar 23, 2014 01:06 IST
Nilankur Das
Nilankur Das
Hindustan Times
World t20

The format has changed and skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni has his thinking cap on again. After showing signs of making things happen with bowling changes and field placements during India's warm-up game victory over England, on Friday, he went a step ahead.

India's almost impregnable infield, where Virat Kohli, Ravindra Jadeja, Suresh Raina and Rohit Sharma man the off-side and Yuvraj Singh on the on-side, guarded the ropes once Powerplay was over. It resulted in some definite boundaries getting stopped and some crucial catches taken in the outfield.

Raina himself took three high catches, the one to dismiss the dangerous Shahid Afridi standing out. Pakistan's 'Boom Boom' man slog swept Bhuvneshwar Kumar from outside the off stump to mid-wicket.

The ball took the top edge and the was bouncing out of Raina's palms as he fell, just like Mohammad Hafeez's catch at mid-wicket earlier in the innings slipped out of Yuvraj's hands, but the fielder showed quick reflexes to grab it on the second attempt.

Difficulty in spotting
Raina said picking up the ball is difficult here because the light towers at this stadium are quite low and so fielders are late in reacting to shots, especially on the fence.

"I think the light towers are very low, especially when you are fielding in the deep, it shines directly on your eyes. So on a few occasions I was doing nothing after a shot was hit as I was having difficulty picking it up. I am glad we took some brilliant catches on Friday," said Raina.

"When you are playing T20, you want your top fielders to be on the boundary line after 10-15 overs. A batsman like Afridi can be dangerous and we saw that during the Asia Cup. So his catch was crucial and it made a difference. Pakistan in the end were 15-20 runs short. So here you will find fielders like Virat, Jadeja, Rohit and me manning the boundary for a better part of the match," he added.