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Dravid conundrum has Dhoni’s thoughts churning

In the past Dhoni had steadfastly maintained that it was only a matter of time before Dravid came good, but this is the first time when he has admitted that the change was being contemplated, reports Anand Vasu.

cricket Updated: Dec 18, 2008 23:11 IST
Anand Vasu
Anand Vasu
Hindustan Times

It seems that Mahendra Singh Dhoni and his thinktank are finally looking at an option that several experts have suggested as Rahul Dravid's lean patch extends into something bigger. Several former players have suggested that Dravid move down the order in a bid to regain form. When asked if the team were contemplating a change in the batting order, Dhoni said: "We're thinking about it, but we can't confirm it right now."

This is the first time when Dhoni has admitted that the change was being contemplated. In the past he has steadfastly maintained that it was only a matter of time before Dravid came good. When pressed specifically on the issue, though, Dhoni showed that he was still reluctant to uproot VVS Laxman from his settled spot at No. 5.

"We're thinking, but at the same time it's not confirmed because we have to think about a few other things as well. Shifting Rahul to No. 5 and asking VVS to bat at No. 3, it might seem OK– that VVS is scoring runs and it would be easier for Rahul to bat at No. 5. But it might turn the other way round as well," said Dhoni. "If VVS bats at No. 3 and gets out to a good ball… there is already pressure on Rahul, and if he comes in with three wickets down early, there will be more pressure. It's really tough to battle that. If you're coming in at No. 3, you come in at one wicket down, and that gives you the freedom to play your natural game."

Dhoni also made it clear that he was not yet worried about Dravid's run. "I've said that each time, I'm not really worried. I feel it's just a matter of time. Once he passes the 30-run mark, he'll get his confidence back," said Dhoni. "Nobody can question his talent and determination. We have confidence in him and I think he'll get runs at some point of time."

While Dravid might be struggling personally, the team are on a high at the moment. "In this team, we want to prove people wrong when they question us or say that we can't do a certain thing," said Dhoni.

"There have been individuals in the group who come up and are willing to take the responsibility and say 'I'm the person who'll take the team through.' It's happening. We believe in the talent that every individual has got. So that really makes us a real team, you can say."

Dhoni also said there was no insecurity in the team and that their winning ways made it easier for someone like Dravid in his quest to regain form. "When you start to do well you can afford to go in with players who are not in a very good phase of their cricket.

“It's a team sport, and when a team does well, you can carry a few individuals and give them a bit more time (to regain form) in international cricket."

First Published: Dec 18, 2008 23:08 IST