Australia v India, 1st Twenty20, Sydney January 31, 2012

Youngsters will raise our fielding - Dhoni

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Twenty20 internationals often go through an identity crisis. They are neither World Twenty20, nor leagues like IPL and BBL where every game takes you towards a larger goal. On international tours, Twenty20s - often one or two in number - run the risk of being seen as just exhibition games.

Not for India this time. MS Dhoni has said that the two Twenty20 internationals against Australia will not be used as glorified nets for the bigger triangular ODI series that follows. He said the presence of youngsters will make the team more energetic on the field.

These might be India's last two Twenty20 internationals before they split up to play for their respective IPL teams and go into September's World Twenty20 in Sri Lanka, an event where they have been knocked out in the first round in their last two attempts.

"We don't get to play too many T20 international games," Dhoni said. "Usually it's one match on a tour. It's good we have two games. We'll try to make the most out of it. We'll look to play the XI best suited for that particular occasion, not thinking about the ODIs."

The first occasion for India will be at Sydney's Stadium Australia, a multi-purpose venue originally built for the Olympics. India have no clue what to expect from the ground. They practised there yesterday, but could only do fielding drills because the practice pitches - in a corner, almost under the roof - were damp. Today India, like Australia, shifted base to the more traditional SCG. Dhoni said that shouldn't be much of a handicap because Australia too haven't played much at the venue.

"I don't think there are many who have played there," Dhoni said. "It remains quite the same for the home team as well as the touring team. That's something pretty even. Of course we would like to spend a bit of time there. We had to shift the practice session because the wickets were damp there, and we weren't able to practise. We will see exactly how it is. The outfield will be important. It is not a cricket ground, which means the sand content is more. Hopefully it goes out well."

Dhoni, though, is looking forward to what the fresh faces will bring to the team. "Our one-day side looks very different from our Test side," Dhoni said. "The new boys who have come in are a lot more noisy, which really helps lift the dressing-room atmosphere. They love to pull each other's leg, which means it gets more and more lively. I don't think it's very difficult [to stay positive despite a disastrous tour so far]." He likened the difference they brought to shifting from Kishore Kumar to Sean Paul.

When asked who he would rather work with, the Bollywood legend of the old or the new-age Jamaican rapper, Dhoni picked the middle path. "I am someone who keeps adjusting. That's one good thing. A mix of everything is good. From classical to rap music. Good to have these boys around."

However, Dhoni spoke of the importance of having young legs in the side. "We have really improved as a fielding side, especially in the ODIs where we have seen a mix of players who are experienced and the youngsters coming in. So on an average out of four fielders three of them can really stop the batsmen from taking a quick single. And the opportunity of getting a batsman run out is very critical in an ODI or a T20.

"When it's needed at the slog overs, they can field at the boundary without much hassle. It really helps me in the sense that I don't have to be too worried about placing the right fielders at the right position. They do it amongst themselves. They are very good. They know where they need to be at the right time. It helps me think on the right things, where I can put emphasis."

Dhoni said it wasn't going to be easy to forget how the first half of the tour has gone down. "It's not easy," he said. "We play with a lot of emotion. Indians are known to be emotional people. But it's not something we haven't done in the past. We have been able to do this. In England when we went into the ODIs I felt the boys performed really well apart from the rain that affected our bowling performance because of the wet ball. Apart from that the fight was good over there. Not really worried. Hopefully it will go our way."

Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • POSTED BY JustIPL on | February 1, 2012, 7:32 GMT

    At last the adults will get some noisy kids around.

  • POSTED BY todomint on | February 1, 2012, 7:32 GMT

    i would like to raise a Question on Indian Selection Committee why is Ojha left out of the team even after such a great performance in recent games. why doesn't he get equal amount of chances Ashwin gets.

    Seriously we our self loosing a spectacular spinner who can bowl in any sort of pitch

  • POSTED BY thinktank1 on | February 1, 2012, 6:00 GMT

    @arun nayar: 3 fielders are enough to save 30 runs and keep pressure on opposition.. when the batsmen don't get easy singles, they go for risky shots.. that is called pressure. :)

  • POSTED BY Stevo_ on | February 1, 2012, 5:52 GMT

    Who cars - T20 is hit and giggle

  • POSTED BY yyr786 on | February 1, 2012, 5:44 GMT

    I think this pitch suits India most than the Australia. Its very slow wicket to bat on. In the BBL its the home ground of Sydney Thinder and no Sydney Thunder player in the Australian squad. New captain for Australia more pressure on them. Hope for the best for India. From Mohammed Yousuf Hyderabad,India.

  • POSTED BY on | February 1, 2012, 4:35 GMT

    Youngsters will raise India, but may be too little too late. Once Australia smells blood, it is difficult to see them not playing like a cat with cockroach India. All the best Mr Dhoni- Captain Cool. India may just have found itself in a hotter frypan this time!

  • POSTED BY on | February 1, 2012, 4:29 GMT

    shewag,gambir,kohli,raina,dhoni,rohit,jadeja,irfan,ashwin,pk,yadav should be batting order.if they play manoj for shewag it would be even good fielding side.

  • POSTED BY Angelo on | February 1, 2012, 4:01 GMT

    @rsurya... we know that if Sachin makes a 100 it will get added to the score the question why he not making it ..also wasting a chance of a another inform batsmen.

  • POSTED BY Meety on | February 1, 2012, 3:13 GMT

    @ssenthil - yes but when at 1st slip there were quite a few he didn't go for! Fielding also includes actually moving, & also Sachin's arm is now quite weak. Sachin WAS once, one of the best fielders India have ever had, he now is a liability in the field.

  • POSTED BY arshad817 on | February 1, 2012, 2:38 GMT

    Look at Aussie squad, hardly any test team member in t20 team, and look at Indian squad almost same for Test, One Day and T20 they always complain about too much cricket why cant they opt out from T20s? make up your mind guys, do good to yourself and fans, let us enjoy cricket not your records and lame game. Honestly I feel India has talent to replace all eleven in all formats of game we are second largest population in world and first among cricket playing nations.

  • POSTED BY JustIPL on | February 1, 2012, 7:32 GMT

    At last the adults will get some noisy kids around.

  • POSTED BY todomint on | February 1, 2012, 7:32 GMT

    i would like to raise a Question on Indian Selection Committee why is Ojha left out of the team even after such a great performance in recent games. why doesn't he get equal amount of chances Ashwin gets.

    Seriously we our self loosing a spectacular spinner who can bowl in any sort of pitch

  • POSTED BY thinktank1 on | February 1, 2012, 6:00 GMT

    @arun nayar: 3 fielders are enough to save 30 runs and keep pressure on opposition.. when the batsmen don't get easy singles, they go for risky shots.. that is called pressure. :)

  • POSTED BY Stevo_ on | February 1, 2012, 5:52 GMT

    Who cars - T20 is hit and giggle

  • POSTED BY yyr786 on | February 1, 2012, 5:44 GMT

    I think this pitch suits India most than the Australia. Its very slow wicket to bat on. In the BBL its the home ground of Sydney Thinder and no Sydney Thunder player in the Australian squad. New captain for Australia more pressure on them. Hope for the best for India. From Mohammed Yousuf Hyderabad,India.

  • POSTED BY on | February 1, 2012, 4:35 GMT

    Youngsters will raise India, but may be too little too late. Once Australia smells blood, it is difficult to see them not playing like a cat with cockroach India. All the best Mr Dhoni- Captain Cool. India may just have found itself in a hotter frypan this time!

  • POSTED BY on | February 1, 2012, 4:29 GMT

    shewag,gambir,kohli,raina,dhoni,rohit,jadeja,irfan,ashwin,pk,yadav should be batting order.if they play manoj for shewag it would be even good fielding side.

  • POSTED BY Angelo on | February 1, 2012, 4:01 GMT

    @rsurya... we know that if Sachin makes a 100 it will get added to the score the question why he not making it ..also wasting a chance of a another inform batsmen.

  • POSTED BY Meety on | February 1, 2012, 3:13 GMT

    @ssenthil - yes but when at 1st slip there were quite a few he didn't go for! Fielding also includes actually moving, & also Sachin's arm is now quite weak. Sachin WAS once, one of the best fielders India have ever had, he now is a liability in the field.

  • POSTED BY arshad817 on | February 1, 2012, 2:38 GMT

    Look at Aussie squad, hardly any test team member in t20 team, and look at Indian squad almost same for Test, One Day and T20 they always complain about too much cricket why cant they opt out from T20s? make up your mind guys, do good to yourself and fans, let us enjoy cricket not your records and lame game. Honestly I feel India has talent to replace all eleven in all formats of game we are second largest population in world and first among cricket playing nations.

  • POSTED BY moBlue on | February 1, 2012, 2:15 GMT

    you know, a long time ago, when SL bowlers would be getting thrashed in the first 15 overs, there would invariably be a mid-field conference - sometimes multiple times! sanath jayasuriya would be involved, for sure! ...and we all know he was a wily bowler, and not just a dangerous bat! no wonder SL pretty soon became world champions in the ODIs! my point is that their hatred of losing was transparent! did we see IND fight in this last test series? heck, no! they just meekly gave in! i never saw any urgency in the field from all the seniors when AUS went - for example - from being in trouble at 39 for 3, or whatever, to putting on 300+ runs for the next wicket! some pressure applied on the field with men around the bat [even if we gave up a 100 runs!!!] would have gotten us one of the two, ponting or clarke, and life would have been easier! if i could see that from thousands of miles away - while it was happening!!! (as a few commentators were pointing out as well) - why couldn't they?!

  • POSTED BY El_Toro_Loco on | February 1, 2012, 0:47 GMT

    Ok now dhoni is using it's youngsters as the would be excuse after another white wash in the up coming games... What a circus of comedy this team is.....LOL....Ciao....

  • POSTED BY on | February 1, 2012, 0:36 GMT

    seriously people using IPL as the reason for India's fall is getting repetitive. Every country has a T20 league of their own, and if you bother with simple logic, most South Africans, Pakistanis and Australians actually play more T20 cricket than Indians since they play in more than one league. If playing T20 league cricket is the reason for Indian cricketers not performing than neither should Saffer, Pakistanis and Aussies

  • POSTED BY on | February 1, 2012, 0:08 GMT

    I hope this year's IPL is a disaster. Then only then we will have players who will take this game seriously.

  • POSTED BY timmyc1983 on | January 31, 2012, 23:56 GMT

    From what Dhoni was saying about 'using these matches as a glorified nets for the bigger triangler series' but then says in the next paragraph 'We'll look to play the XI best suited for that particular occasion, not thinking about the ODIs'. To me that sounds like a worry for the Indians, sounds like there is no set plan for what they are trying to achieve in these two matches. Australia talk about gearing up for the World T20 and testing the players for that tournement, maybe India are doing the same without saying it, but at the moment things seem a little contradictive... In any case T20 can be so flukey and it's been raining in Sydney all morning, so we may not even get this match in :/

  • POSTED BY theRule19 on | January 31, 2012, 23:38 GMT

    Alas! will be good to see some young players making their mark in T20 and ODIs. I don't feel Dhoni is that bad a captain. Its his aging players, that have added to his worry, because they cannot field and much worse, they have failed miserably with the bat. Singles, be it any form of the game are important for any opposition as it encourages solid partnerships and lays a strong foundation in a team scoring big, and only young energetic fielders can control that, and India in the tests, have just not fielded well to slow the flow of runs. It will be interesting how their young batting fares against the opposition bowers.

  • POSTED BY on | January 31, 2012, 23:34 GMT

    Some of you are making some bad statements, VVS, Dravid and SRT are some of the best fielders there, and about moral, VVS is a very lively guy... didn't we just have an article about how he is and sometimes the only guy shouting on a depressed field? Tsk you guys are just all over the place.

  • POSTED BY WeeBee on | January 31, 2012, 20:14 GMT

    hmmm! lets hope for some fight from indian squad! .. if India loses in T20 as well then BCCI should shut IPL down and should start taking their game seriously. IPL is CASH ONLY! NOT QUALITY! it did damage INDIAN SQUAD.

  • POSTED BY SmartStrategy on | January 31, 2012, 19:52 GMT

    Mr Dhoni, you have to think very well about field placements, because Indians are yet to master the fielding strategies in the large Australian grounds. We have seen in previous ODIs, Tests here that the field placements done similar to subcontinent grounds can backfire. Large grounds require a bit different strategy to prevent singles, strong arms to through from deep, and subtle changes to catching areas as well! Same goes with power hitting and finding gaps while batting as well. I am not sure how big is this new olympic venue is though, but must be still bigger than the subcontinent boundaries. I hope you guys are mindful of these tactics to adjust to large grounds.

    Bowlers need to be clever and should be able to change at the last moment to confuse the bastmen. It's good that Ishant is not in this squad- he doesn't seem to be an intelligent bowler despite of having all qualities of a fast bowler.

  • POSTED BY on | January 31, 2012, 19:27 GMT

    One would think that Dhoni who has at his advisory disposal the likes of experience players like SRT,Dravid, Zaheer Khan and of course VVS, that he (Dhoni) would be pretty much winning most matches tactically. But is this the case? no! instead we are treated to poor field placings, lack of control and a general defeatist attitude when the match is not even over. I think Dhoni should get some of the blame but surely the likes of SRT, Dravid and co are equally to blame. I have yet to see their 20 years experience be put to good tactical use. SRT, Dravid,VVS, Khan are like quiet little field mice and dont actually give any input. After all that cricket they have played they seem like novices. I hope the likes of Raina and the younger ones can embarrass the older players when they participate in the limited over matches.I have a feeling that the younger ones will be the ones with the old experience heads and with good ideas.As opposed to NO IDEAS from SRT,Dravid etc.Please publish cricinfo

  • POSTED BY SupertrampMS on | January 31, 2012, 19:27 GMT

    MSD,Sehwag,Gauti,Raina,Kohli,Rohit,Irfan,Jadeja,Ashwin,yadav,Praveen Kumar(playing eleven) apart from Sehwag and Ashwin all are reasonably good fielders...Raina/kohli/jadeja > Rohit > Irfan/Pk/yadav.. if they play manoj that wll increase the fielding ability further..

  • POSTED BY on | January 31, 2012, 18:36 GMT

    Seriously, there are 3 good fielders, Raina, Jadeja and Kohli. Gambhir is OK to an extent. The rest are sloths on the field. Cant see how there is going to be a change in the fielding???

  • POSTED BY on | January 31, 2012, 18:01 GMT

    @pdasd Dude, what are you talking about ?? If we talk of Tendulkar , he is one of the best fielder in Indian cricket team ... #FACT

  • POSTED BY on | January 31, 2012, 17:37 GMT

    make me a selector, i would have picked Ajnkae Rahanae for sachin

  • POSTED BY rsurya on | January 31, 2012, 17:20 GMT

    People who says that sachin plays for his records might have forgotten or may be they don't know the rules of cricket that, the 100 or any run scored by a batsman will add to the team's total.If others are not playing for record then this series would have flooded with 100s. but only one kohli got a ton.

  • POSTED BY thinktank1 on | January 31, 2012, 17:03 GMT

    Dhoni makes sure he stays on the safe side.. in the process gives hints on what's going wrong in the Indian team.. He indirectly said that old guys can't field well and he had to look after the fielding aspect also in the test series. It's true.. Sehwag, Dravid, laxman, Ashwin, Zaheer are very bad at fielding. :)

  • POSTED BY on | January 31, 2012, 16:53 GMT

    Dilshan was able to deliver better performance with one underperforming senior out of the way. Hope Dhoni would do likewise.

  • POSTED BY NikSaid on | January 31, 2012, 16:48 GMT

    Many Indians are still emotional!! You can see that in comments on two articles about Dhoni. Its sad that when he says T20 team is VERY DIFFERENT to Test team and many comments just sympathizes with him, oh our dear leader, you are right, India is VERY different and will beat hell out of Aus T20!

  • POSTED BY ssenthil on | January 31, 2012, 16:06 GMT

    @ pdasd, Have u ever seen Sachin dropped catches? Every1 dropped a catch at least in the test series including Virat but not Sachin. He never dropped any catches even he was alert enough to caught the one which Laxman dropped. He fielded every position from slip to out field and never made any mis fielding or slow anytime. Don't be blind biased silly fan bashing some1 without any reason whatsover.

  • POSTED BY on | January 31, 2012, 15:08 GMT

    I don't believe India will fare differently in the shorter version of the game. They may beat Sri Lanka but certainly not Aus. Test cricket expose all yr weaknesses & India have been well exposed. The shorter formats have restrictions & that can make it more difficult. Limited over cricket is not easy & India is low on runs & confidence. To make an impact India must play their spinners, all of them if possible. Rohit, Kolhi, Reina,Karthik, must be in the team in order to put some runs on the tin.

  • POSTED BY on | January 31, 2012, 14:20 GMT

    Time only tell how far we go. It is essential to forget past but at the same time it is also essential to take the lessons of past with you to use it for future.

  • POSTED BY Sam23 on | January 31, 2012, 14:00 GMT

    Sid Monga, you erred in facts for India's performance in last 2 World T20s. India made it to Super 6s every time and lost all games that stage. So its wrong to say that they lost in first round. Hopefully thats rectified.

  • POSTED BY on | January 31, 2012, 13:56 GMT

    AUSTRALIA will Sweep india........Confirmed....INDIA is going to loose all ODI's and T20's as they lost against england last year......

  • POSTED BY NikhilNair on | January 31, 2012, 13:41 GMT

    CMON DHONI N CO! I expect a better show in the limited edition... thank GOD Irfan is also in the team... hope he will ROCK it! Chalo... dikhado aussies ko... ki hum main bhi kuch baat hai! :)

  • POSTED BY on | January 31, 2012, 13:25 GMT

    our indian team need dashing players for odi and t20 like robin uthappa, v sewag, gambir,kohli,manish panday,raina,ms dhoni,yousaf pathan,irfan pathan,umesh yadav,praveen kumar,r jadeja, ashwin

  • POSTED BY on | January 31, 2012, 12:56 GMT

    Dont Loose your hope friends.Sure India will win in the 20-20 and ODI.Remember the Two World Cup win against Australia. Jai Ho

  • POSTED BY on | January 31, 2012, 12:23 GMT

    after all no guts no glory

  • POSTED BY on | January 31, 2012, 10:54 GMT

    When you are playing for your country you should give maximum effort in all three department......Example Like Raina......(Raina your are beauty in fielding).Really A TEAM MAN....

  • POSTED BY jonesy2 on | January 31, 2012, 10:40 GMT

    woopty doo. teams have to field out of their skins to match it with australia

  • POSTED BY Satv007 on | January 31, 2012, 9:56 GMT

    Yes...fresh blood in the team and MSD can have more say as a captain than consulting seniors.

  • POSTED BY pdasd on | January 31, 2012, 9:44 GMT

    What a Joke! youngster will improve the fielding. Except Dravid and Laxman the rest of the team will be same. So how is it possible that fielding will improve. Selectors should have dropped Tendulkar (who just want his 100th 1000) and Sehwag then our fielding would have improved .

  • POSTED BY dunger.bob on | January 31, 2012, 9:04 GMT

    T20 is not something we are very good at really. Ranked 6 and lucky to be there. I expect Dhoni and his fresh legs to give us a lesson. Both sides are significantly different from their own Test teams so it's a new ball game, no risk. The only other thing I'd like to say is that the new lads had bloody well want to be better fielders than the old lot otherwise you may as well just go home now !!

  • POSTED BY on | January 31, 2012, 9:00 GMT

    india will be far more better side in tests if sachin,dravid and laxman retires...play pujara,mukund,rothit sharma....leave out ishanth and fill in with praven kumar......and play rahul sharma along with aswin if two spinners are playing and if dhoni is not there make sure dinesh karthik gets a chance

  • POSTED BY ramli on | January 31, 2012, 8:22 GMT

    Yes .. India will do better in ODIs .. but the result could be the same ... defeat in the hands of Aus in the final ... but it will not be whitewash again ... that is for sure ... one can bank on Sri Lanka for this ... Excuse me SL fans ... cheers .. may the best two teams compete the final

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  • POSTED BY ramli on | January 31, 2012, 8:22 GMT

    Yes .. India will do better in ODIs .. but the result could be the same ... defeat in the hands of Aus in the final ... but it will not be whitewash again ... that is for sure ... one can bank on Sri Lanka for this ... Excuse me SL fans ... cheers .. may the best two teams compete the final

  • POSTED BY on | January 31, 2012, 9:00 GMT

    india will be far more better side in tests if sachin,dravid and laxman retires...play pujara,mukund,rothit sharma....leave out ishanth and fill in with praven kumar......and play rahul sharma along with aswin if two spinners are playing and if dhoni is not there make sure dinesh karthik gets a chance

  • POSTED BY dunger.bob on | January 31, 2012, 9:04 GMT

    T20 is not something we are very good at really. Ranked 6 and lucky to be there. I expect Dhoni and his fresh legs to give us a lesson. Both sides are significantly different from their own Test teams so it's a new ball game, no risk. The only other thing I'd like to say is that the new lads had bloody well want to be better fielders than the old lot otherwise you may as well just go home now !!

  • POSTED BY pdasd on | January 31, 2012, 9:44 GMT

    What a Joke! youngster will improve the fielding. Except Dravid and Laxman the rest of the team will be same. So how is it possible that fielding will improve. Selectors should have dropped Tendulkar (who just want his 100th 1000) and Sehwag then our fielding would have improved .

  • POSTED BY Satv007 on | January 31, 2012, 9:56 GMT

    Yes...fresh blood in the team and MSD can have more say as a captain than consulting seniors.

  • POSTED BY jonesy2 on | January 31, 2012, 10:40 GMT

    woopty doo. teams have to field out of their skins to match it with australia

  • POSTED BY on | January 31, 2012, 10:54 GMT

    When you are playing for your country you should give maximum effort in all three department......Example Like Raina......(Raina your are beauty in fielding).Really A TEAM MAN....

  • POSTED BY on | January 31, 2012, 12:23 GMT

    after all no guts no glory

  • POSTED BY on | January 31, 2012, 12:56 GMT

    Dont Loose your hope friends.Sure India will win in the 20-20 and ODI.Remember the Two World Cup win against Australia. Jai Ho

  • POSTED BY on | January 31, 2012, 13:25 GMT

    our indian team need dashing players for odi and t20 like robin uthappa, v sewag, gambir,kohli,manish panday,raina,ms dhoni,yousaf pathan,irfan pathan,umesh yadav,praveen kumar,r jadeja, ashwin