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Monday, Sep 23, 2019

Lord's sightscreen is a problem: Dhoni

The flamboyant Indian says that due to a problem with the sightscreen at the pavilion end, he couldn't see the ball thrice.

cricket Updated: Jul 24, 2007 12:53 IST


Things at Lord's, the spiritual home of cricket, are not so perfect after all.

Mahendra Singh Dhoni, India's saviour in the first Test, has said "a problem with the sightscreen" led to his dismissal in the first innings and he was lucky enough to stay unbeaten in the second and see India through.

"There was a problem with the sightscreen at the pavilion end. I could not see the ball on three occasions, and on all those occasions, I played the same shot," Dhoni said.

"In the first innings I got out, but in the second innings it went for four," the wicketkeeper-batsman said after the match.

He said the problem was due to a combination of sightscreen's size and the background colour.

"The sightscreen is small but the background is also maroonish and the ball mixes up with the colour," he said.

"There is also the clothing of the spectators. During the first innings, it was also bright (because of the sun)."

Dhoni hit 76 not out which, in captain Rahul Dravid's words, "got India out of jail" against England on Monday.

His uncharacteristically subdued knock helped India hang in until the rains arrived to keep them unconquered at 282 for nine while chasing a target of 380 on the fifth and final day.

Dhoni said his match-saving innings showed how far he has come from being a slam-bang batsman to one who plays "according to situation".

Dhoni said it actually proved to be second time lucky for him after his valiant effort against South Africa last year.

"I am learning to play according to situation. I tried it in South Africa also, I tried to save the match but couldn't. It is not the way I play," Dhoni said.

Dhoni was the last recognised batsman at the crease and denied England the last wicket to clinch victory.

No. 10 batsman Rudra Pratap Singh tried to hit his way out of trouble against spinner Monty Panesar and was bowled.

Last batsman Sreesanth survived a close appeal for leg before before the covers came on.

Dhoni said he tried his best to stay calm despite such anxious moments for India.

"Once RP got out, I could do nothing about it. But I told Sree to keep his front pad out of the way against Monty," Dhoni said.

"I told him (Sreesanth), 'Monty's first ball will be an arm ball, so you make sure you don't bring your leg in the way'.

"He was then rapped on the pads and then I had to go and tell him firmly 'keep that leg out, keep it towards 'midwicket'. He has to listen because I am the wicketkeeper."

The Jharkhand player said he himself has been working on the weak areas in his batting, like playing the short ball.

"Wherever I go, on flat tracks back home or anywhere else, that's the ball I face because the bowlers know that I am there to play my shots. I will have to deal with it.

"I am also working on leaving the ball. When I start off, I am not a good leaver of the ball for the first 15 minutes.

"So those first 15 minutes are crucial to my career. I am working with Ramki (team's cricket analyst) on that."

First Published: Jul 24, 2007 12:37 IST