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HindustanTimes Sun,28 Dec 2014

Cricket

Don't know what is a good bowling performance now, says Dhoni
PTI
Nagpur, October 31, 2013
First Published: 02:18 IST(31/10/2013)
Last Updated: 02:21 IST(31/10/2013)

In the backdrop of more than 300 runs being scored on an average in an innings in the ongoing seven-match ODI series against Australia, Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni today said it was now difficult to determine what's a good bowling performance.

"I honestly don't know what's a good performance now by a bowler, 80 runs in 10 overs or 60 in 10, because of the rule changes (one extra fielder inside the 30-yard circle)," said Dhoni at the post-match press conference after India beat Australia by six wickets to level the series 2-2.

"The bowlers are facing a huge challenge, but as you have seen over the years they adapt faster to the rules than the batsmen," he said.

"The wickets are flat and there is not much of turn or reverse swing," he added. Dhoni praised batsman Virat Kohli, the stand-out performer for India in the series and who smashed 115 not out off just 66 balls to help India chase down 351 today, for his heroics.

"Virat is talented and confident. He has grabbed the opportunity to bat at number three and keeps performing. He effortlessly won the game and made batting look so easy though the ball was reversing a bit. He is an outstanding player.

"But I also want to compliment Rohit Sharma (who made 79). He started slowly and was not able to find the gaps easily but never got under pressure and finally his strike rate was pretty decent," Dhoni said.

"It's always good to have a very good opening partnership and Shikhar and Rohit gave us a very good start. Such starts give a sense of calm to the middle order," he said.

Dhoni defended the ploy of fielding three spinners in the game, by including Amit Mishra in the eleven.

"This ground is big and batsmen have to go over the top of fielders to get boundaries which gives spinners a chance to get them out. Our spinners bowled well in spells," he said.

He also supported Suresh Raina who flopped once again at his new number four position and said he needs to be given more time to cement this spot.

"He has always batted at No. 5 or 6 where one tends to play instinctive shots. It's a new position for him. He needs to be given more opportunities," said Dhoni.


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