Australia v India, 3rd T20I, Sydney January 31, 2016

'Bumrah the find of the tour' - Dhoni

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MS Dhoni - ""I am always worried about the bowling, especially when we go out of India, but now that we are playing only T20s for a consistent period of time, the bowling is looking settled"

India's limited-overs captain MS Dhoni is pleased with the positives that have come out of the tour of Australia where the visitors lost the first four ODIs before coming back to win the final ODI and all three Twenty20 internationals. In a season where India will now play only T20 cricket till the home World T20 and the IPL, Dhoni feels he might have found a settled bowling unit, a feeling he rarely experiences, and a lot of it is down to the newcomer Jasprit Bumrah, who incidentally would not have made it to the side but for two injuries.

While Dhoni expectedly downplayed the T20 whitewash, he went out of his way to praise Bumrah. "The find [of the tour] for me was Bumrah," Dhoni said. "The way he has bowled in the last three games was really good. What looks good is Bumrah as a potential player. He's looking really good, and even today he bowled the yorkers well. And I've always said that to be successful in the shorter format you have to execute the yorkers. Whether you choose to bowl it or not is up to you, but if you don't have that option, then definitely at some point of time, you will be under pressure."

For once Dhoni made a bold declaration - some might say he is tempting fate - that he need not worry about about the bowling too much. "I am always worried about the bowling, especially when we go out of India, but now that we are playing only T20s for a consistent period of time, the bowling is looking settled," Dhoni said. "I don't have to worry about the bowling line-up. There might be one or two changes here or there: we might pick another spinner or maybe get a medium-fast bowler of a quick, but overall it has been a good set-up."

Dhoni said it was a conscious decision to look at new bowlers after having yielded similar results by persisting with the old ones. "We wanted to try different people because we have been trying the same few individuals and getting the same result," Dhoni said. "So it was high time we gave chances to individuals who were doing well in the domestic circuit, and to see what really they have to offer.

"And at the same time, once they play over here and go back, they at least know what are the departments they need to work on. Because there's a lot of difference between our first-class cricket and international cricket. The gap is quite wide between them. So now at least with a few games here, a bit of practice with the Indian team and the bowling coaches, at least once they go back, they know what needs to be done. I think a lot of them will have to field really hard, they'll have to push themselves to improve their fielding. And as far as just the talent is concerned, there were quite a few people who looked good."

A settled bowling attack to go with a top order in prodigious form and the benefit of home conditions and crowds will make India a formidable team in the World T20. Dhoni paid tribute to the consistency of his main batsmen. "I feel that it is difficult to follow up a big performance, like a score of 100 or 80, with another big performance," Dhoni said. "What has been good in this series is how the top order has consistently performed. It is very difficult.

"When you are scoring lots of runs you get a lot of confidence, but at the same time, there comes a time when you put that extra pressure on yourself too. You may think that the law of averages will strike at some point. But they have carried it through the whole series, they always gave us a very good start. And it was always the top order.

"If you talk about five, six, seven and the lower-down batsmen, apart from that one game [Canberra ODI], we were just doing the sweeping job of playing 10-12 deliveries, or 15 deliveries maximum. The top order did really well in this tournament for us."

Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • kanad_Boston on February 4, 2016, 2:40 GMT

    @Rashid Shohab: I am an Indian. Your analysis is very accurate and objective. Indian batting compensates for the shortcomings in bowling. For the time being things look brighter. Still, things need to improve. For the WCt20 India is certainly in an advantageous position.Thank you for your constructive criticism.

  • unknownjohnson on February 2, 2016, 14:03 GMT

    Find of the tour or not, I would select Bumrah (or any pacer) ahead of Ishant Sharma any day! How Ishant has remained in the Indian team with a few fluke performances belies belief! So many opportunities but still has not developed. So many jokes about him on the net but still selectors favour him. Indian team pacers should be chosen from Shami, Bumrah, Yadav, Aaron, Irfan Pathan, Sran, Nehra, BK, PK and young Nathu Singh. NEVER EVER ISHANT!! I remember when Ishant was 'the find' of an AUS tour with which came money and fame with development and consistency going out the window. Hopefully, this tour will finally be ' the un-find' of Ishant Sharma!!

  • Coolcapricorn on February 2, 2016, 6:25 GMT

    Still think we desperately need Shami in our T20WC squad & let us not yet write Bhuvi off too. Umesh is too erratic & expensive whilst Ishant should perhaps be saved just for Test cricket from now onwards. The batting side looks far more settled with Rahane & Pandey being possible options - one of them possibly replacing Hardik Pandya as maybe we don't need three seamers in Indian conditions & when we got both both Raina & Yuvi to fill the 5th bowler role.

  • Subbs_97 on February 2, 2016, 2:16 GMT

    What ever happened to Barinder Sran? Why is he not in the picture? Is it only participation in a winning game that counts any more??

  • spinkingKK on February 2, 2016, 0:20 GMT

    I felt that even in the ODI series, Indian bowling was better than the Aussies' inexperienced bowling unit. On any day, I will take Ishant, Umesh, Sran, Ashwin and Jadeja over Boland, Hastings, Richardson, Lyon and Maxwell. India didn't struggle in the ODI's. They have lost because of the gap in the standard of fielding and the lack of lower order big hitters. ODI's and T20's are a totally batsmen's game. The bowlers have very little say. Bring on Steyn or whoever, if the batsmen keeps going, 400 runs is quite possible. Regarding Dhoni's statement that Bhumrah being the find of the tour, I totally agree. The guy is very hard to master. He is definitely an asset in the limited overs setup. May be not so much in the tests where the batsmen are not forced to look for runs. Having said that, it doesn't mean he will never go for runs. As I said earlier, if the batsmen gets going in these friendly pitches, no one can be spared.

  • Cricketuk on February 1, 2016, 22:47 GMT

    India will be more successful in Australia if they accept DRS

  • Kangroos.Proteas.Monkeys.Lions on February 1, 2016, 17:32 GMT

    I agree with Dhoni but very very denatured flat aussie pitches denied him and pandya the opportunity to shine. They would have done much better on supportive wickets but this big three mania is destroying cricket.

  • dalok on February 1, 2016, 16:25 GMT

    Dhoni, please continue to worry about the bowling. You are one injury away from an unsettled bowling again. Please pay attention to bench strength and always be on look out to build reserve. It is no longer a luxury but utmost necessity to continue to rotate and build a pool or bowlers.

  • viraj09 on February 1, 2016, 16:16 GMT

    If bumrah is find of the tour so is Sran! Based on 1-2 performances how can someone become find of the tour? Even Sran bowled decently in his first 2 games, but almost all forgot him because it was at the start of the odi series, whereas bumrah came in later part! Thankfully Pandya wasn't included in this find of the tour party!

  • rightarmfilth on February 1, 2016, 14:50 GMT

    Bummerah and Hardick are definitely the 2 amazing finds in this series. The fact they come together at the same time must be an orgasmic sensation for Dhoni as he knocks on out with his bat in the dugout

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