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HindustanTimes Tue,02 Sep 2014
Dhoni needs to play Ashwin
Sourav Ganguly
December 28, 2012
First Published: 00:22 IST(28/12/2012)
Last Updated: 00:25 IST(28/12/2012)

The loss of two back-to-back games would be a worry for India and they will have to pick themselves up in Ahmedabad against Pakistan.

India won the first Test against England here, so there will be happy memories of this ground. But they know they will have to pick themselves up here. They were in a good position against Pakistan at various times the other night, but could not capitalise on it.

When you have so many batsman in the team, you look to put up a big score, and in trying to do so, India were put under pressure by a very good Pakistan bowling side.

Ajmal, a class apart
The Pakistan attack has a lot of variation and all their bowlers are wicket-takers. I was very impressed with young Irfan and if he is looked after well, he will be a terrific force for Pakistan.

He is seven feet tall and hence can extract terrific bounce from the pitch, which created problems for a lot of India batsman.

Although the Indians got off to a solid start, the quality of attack did not allow them to get away with the game. Saeed Ajmal was a class apart and has become a champion bowler in all formats and keeps getting better and better. His  wickets of Dhoni and Raina were gamechangers.

Balance of the team
India will also have to look at the balance of this side. Some of the combinations Dhoni has tried recently have raised quite a few eyebrows. I don't think India needs eight batsmen and need to play four, or, maybe, five, genuine bowlers in the game. Not playing a regular spinner was a gamble Dhoni took and paid a heavy price for it. Dhoni will have to bring Ashwin back.

360 Corporate Relations
The writer is a former India captain


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