India v Australia, 3rd ODI, Mohali October 20, 2013

Don't need to spoon-feed bowlers - Dhoni

ESPNcricinfo staff

India captain MS Dhoni, who had hit the third-highest score for a No. 6 batsman to lift his wobbling side to above 300, admitted that death-overs bowling is a headache that is getting worse for the team, especially with the fifth fielder having to come up inside the circle according to the new rules.

Australia required 44 off the last three overs at Mohali, but Ishant Sharma's persistence with either length or short-pitched bowling played into James Faulkner's game plan as he robbed four sixes to reduce the equation to a far simpler 14 off 12 balls.

"I think the last few overs were disappointing, it is an area of concern and it is getting worse. There was a bit of dew but not like in the last game, the individuals will have to step up, you have to back your strength," Dhoni said. "You don't need to spoon-feed bowlers at the international level."

Dhoni sympathised with the challenge the bowlers have to tackle with only four fielders outside the 30-yard circle after the Powerplays, but added that holding one's discipline even at the worst of times could prove the most telling difference in the course of a match.

"This generation of bowlers, though they have some amount of experience, if you consider the rule changes, with fifth fielder inside [the circle], I think most of the bowlers or all the bowlers are very new because experience doesn't really count at the point of time.

"A few bowlers may have off days and that's where you have to make sure you are not giving away too many runs," he said. "Even when you bowl a bad over, try to restrict it in between 15-18 runs, because if you go higher than that, it has a bigger impact on the game."

Dhoni predicted such shifts late in the game could become quite common, especially in the course of this series, with pitches favouring batting, the impact of dew and two good sides on display.

"In the last game, we performed in the same situation and we were able to put pressure on them," he said. "To some extent, we were in a winning position in this game but I think in this series especially, you'll see quite a few times this balance shifting, and from that point the side that bowls slightly better is the one that will win most of the games"

As much as taking wickets restricted the opposition's scoring, the new rules provide the batting side with the opportunity to spark a turnaround, as India themselves proved rising from 154 for 6 in the 32nd over to finish at 303.

"Today we kept losing wickets but still we got 300-odd runs," Dhoni said. "So with that fifth fielder inside its becoming a bit difficult and with right amount of partnerships and if you have wickets in hand, you may see the team scoring on the higher end of the 300-plus scores"

To prepare for such situations, Dhoni said India try to simulate the slog overs by putting fielders in place and checking how far the ball can be hit, even off the outside edge. But net performance does not mirror match situations because there is no "real pressure".

"Nobody really wants to bowl a bad over, but if it happens the individual is more disappointed than anyone else in the stadium or the team," he said. "Ideally, it is best to leave him to this thoughts and then have a chat with him after the team is back at the hotel when he will be less frustrated and more accepting."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dal on October 22, 2013, 14:50 GMT

    Ishant has never really had a clue when bowling in ODI's

  • Jo on October 22, 2013, 14:15 GMT

    there were too manu suggestions folks... including mine... Just let it cool down... New rule seriously playing uncertainty part, for the fact, the last two games were won by chasing the dominant total set. Ok... more than bowlers, captains need some time, if he was not educated on implication of the new rule in the match. Seems like aus did that well to Bailey and bcci did not take care of that part and left it to Dhoni to figure out. I some how feel, India will bounce back in next and stay there for the remaining games.

    But the new rule is a rue added to the woes and uncertainty that cricket has now. Some how the game is loosing the glamour by ever changing rules to benefit certain sect of the boards... that is pathetic ICC. They did not impose the legal dimensions of the bat and the ground (outfield), which are as essential as the dimensions of the stumps, bails, and balls. When they bring the uniformity there, we can talk about fairness and records broken etc, in logical senses.

  • Dummy4 on October 22, 2013, 13:50 GMT

    Ishant sharma you don't know how to bowl slower balls and yorkers, You know only one way of bowling is short ball whatever is the pitch conditions. btw, every one is pointing out Ishant sharma , how about Ashwin, He replaced harbhajan singh who failed only in foreign conditions, through the years India has been more powerful in indian conditions mainly because of their spin bowling, no he is trying too many things and forget the bowling he is an off spinner:-) it is high time to give a chance to Amit Mishara. I believe if Indian batsmen given chance to bat against Indian bowling they will score 400+ runs in each inning.

  • keval on October 22, 2013, 12:53 GMT

    Cant give excuse for any loss. As pointed out earlier by dhoni, the format of the game has been tampered and hence bowlers have less or no support on asian pitches. Two bouncers are of no help on indian pitches. I think that rule of just 4 players outside circle is completely wrong and should be changed. You are inviting high scoring games on asian pitches and low scoring conditions which are helpful only for bowlers in other continents.

  • Dummy4 on October 22, 2013, 9:25 GMT

    we have better bowler zaheer, umesh,rp singh,varun why MSD carrying ishant i dono.

  • Dummy4 on October 22, 2013, 8:53 GMT

    The basic requirement from a seam bowler is that he should be able to land the ball on seam. He should be able to keep the seam straight so that the bowl can do something. Even the bowlers playing on local maidaans have this skill. But Ishant doesn't have it. He never had it and hasn't learnt it till now. He seems to be someone having a low to mediocre IQ who is somehow unable to comprehend what a particular situation demands. The only thing he had was speed. But it is also so much up and down. The guy can't even properly see where he is landing the ball(He is looking down or his eyes are closed or hair coming in the way). I think he was inducted too early without having learnt his skills properly. Since then, he has only gone downhill. He should take a timeout and learn the basics first. Then, he should return to domestic cricket. He would only embarrass himself at international level at the moment.

  • gavin on October 22, 2013, 8:17 GMT

    How long are we going to tolerate this below average bowler who is so consistent at being inconsistent. Surely there are better bowlers in India. Even if we have to try new bowlers, they will not perform any worse than what this guy is performing at the moment. Even if we try an Ishwar pandey or mohit sharma , and even if they get hit for plenty , they will learn from the experience and become better bowlers. For a guy who has played 50+ test matches and more than 70 odi's , he has absolutely no clue how to bowl and we are still praying and hoping that he will learn from his mistakes and improve. And mistakes are aplenty , but improvement is nil. I dont have a problem with him getting smashed for runs , its the manner in which he got smashed, bowling short , wide , half volleys on leg stump etc , even tail enders will hit you for runs.He makes things so very simple for the batsmen , Australia must be licking their lips at the prospect of facing Ishant in the rest of the series,5-2 Aus.

  • Rajkumar on October 22, 2013, 7:58 GMT

    First of all respect and credit to Dhoni for not piling blame on Ishant(like a certain Azhar.)We never had and probably will NEVER have match winning fast bowlers.(given the craze for short formats,fast scoring etc).Next- Ishant Sharma's case: he didnt select himslef and like someone said here sanely he isnt an ODI or T20 bowler.His downturn started with first IPL and he has never been the same bowler who bowled so well in Aus in 2008.Ofcourse he wont and NEEDNT stop playing short formats himslef because that is where the money is.Its upto the selectors to make that call.Probably dhoni has an eye on the bouncy and a bit faster tracks in Aus where WC will be played in 2015 and thats why hes pesrsisting with Ishant.Certain decisions will backfire and I am sure Dhoni is unmoved by all this flak.India's future bowling line up should have the likes of Umesh,varun etc(who knows whow they will turn out but theres nothing right now).leave Ishant for tests where he will do well (hopefully).peac

  • Santosh on October 22, 2013, 7:38 GMT

    It is variation in length and pace of deliveries which is very important in limited over cricket (ODIs and T20s). Ishant has not been good at these ever. Dhoni with coach needs to guide him on this front and until he learns these, he should be rested. No excuses anymore.

  • Dummy4 on October 22, 2013, 6:35 GMT

    On flat tracks in the subcontinent , its really difficult for the pacers to bowl in the death overs with only 4 men outside the ring. I believe that Its from the 40th over, the game started shifting in favor of the Aussies. First the 17 run over from Kohli( Raina/Yuvi/Ishant could have been better for bowling 40th over than Kohli). Then Vinay leaked 14 runs in 46th over and then Ishant 30 runs in 48th over. All these led to India's loss. Also we lost 4 wkts for 76 runs at the end of 14th over , which was terrible on a batting paradise. If it was 76/2 that time, the score might have been 325, and that might have put more pressure on Aussies and even Ishant's 30 run over would have not been enough for them to seal the game!