India v England, 5th ODI, Kolkata October 26, 2011

Need to improve bowling - Dhoni

ESPNcricinfo staff
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MS Dhoni, the India captain, has said India still need to improve in the bowling department after their 5-0 series victory over England at home. He expressed concern at the fact that India's seamers did not complete their allocated ten overs in many of the matches because they had given away too many runs. Both Umesh Yadav and Varun Aaron impressed with their pace during the series but Dhoni said control was as important as bowling quick.

"Of course it's a great series win," he said after the fifth ODI in Kolkata. "But our fast bowlers could not bowl 10 overs in many of the matches and we have to realise that's where we have to get better. It's good to have guys bowling quick but they also need to be able to keep the runs down and not give away a boundary an over.

"Even though we've won at home, we need to realise that when we go abroad there may not be as much turn for our spinners and so we will not be able to win if our fast bowlers don't bowl well. In other countries our part-timers may not be as effective as they are here."

The series win comes just a month after India were thumped in both the Tests and one-dayers in England. Dhoni said the criticism his side received after that tour did not worry him as he knew Indians were passionate about cricket and bound to react to a loss.

"It happens: you are appreciated when you do well and that should be taken with an open heart. I was not too worried about criticism. We know cricket is big in India. It's a part of our life."

India went into the ODI series against England with several senior players missing through injury, and Dhoni said while the influx of young players helped sharpen the fielding, the seniors were still needed. "It's difficult to replace the seniors talent-wise. But these youngsters have clicked as a unit. They are slightly better fielders. They may save 8-10 runs which matter in ODIs. They have reacted in the right way and been patient in waiting for opportunities to turn things their way. But we really can't really replace Sachin [Tendulkar], [Virender] Sehwag and Yuvraj [Singh]."

Dhoni was named Man of the Series after scoring 212 runs without being dismissed in the five games. He said that he would not be moving up the order, though, since he had adjusted his game to batting in the middle order. "The format of the game has changed. Now, with the Powerplays split, the situations are different. We have to be good at the slog overs and rotate strike as well. I have changed my style of batting. At No. 3 you can be flamboyant but at 5 and 6 you have to be careful."

India will play a Twenty20 international against England in Kolkata on October 29 and the organisers will be hoping for a larger crowd after disappointing turnouts over the one-dayers. An overdose of cricket and the absence of some star players were the reasons Dhoni pointed out for the empty rows in the stands at Eden Gardens. "We have played a lot of cricket in India: the World Cup, IPL and then the Champions League T20 were held here. Big stars like Sachin were missing from this series. This is also one of the biggest stadia in India so it's not easy to get a jam-packed crowd every time."

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  • starincricket on October 28, 2011, 13:28 GMT

    yeah.. this is what i really admire about dhoni. Always thinks what is the best on each and every department and how to bring out.

    Exactly these comments to be taken care on fast bowling and part timers. When we had series in england ,we were not able to take 10 wickets in tests. and not able to bowling strong in death overs in ODIs.

    he knows very well that always there is a scope for improvement in any areas of cricket. Its what sachin also used to say, he is still learning. yes learning with passion.

    India should be capable of perform well in any abroad conditions in all departments. after a long years ,we are really considering abt our fast bowling.Is not it? bec , of wash out in eng which suits fast. yes we shd have good fast attack even in those conditions. All players shd be monitored on all conditions on all departments.

  • Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on October 28, 2011, 1:44 GMT

    While one should respect the thought process of Captain Dhoni, I would be glad if he can think how his fast bowlers can complete their quota when the spinners are playing havoc with the English batsmen and the matches are getting finished before 40 overs? He is a little harsh but, hey, everybody is learning about Cricket everyday. Dhoni will learn to be much fairer in his assessment and the newbies will also learn to be more consistent. Let's hope the newbies don't sacrifice 10MPH in the process.

  • on_the_level on October 27, 2011, 20:36 GMT

    I fail to understand Dhoni's comments regarding Indian fast bowlers. The English batsmen do not play spin well, and so target the pacers for their runs. Dhoni should therefore encourage the fast bowlers to continue to bowl fast, as it is only through repeated action that they will learn subtle variations to make it more difficult to score off them. The fast bowlers need their captain to back them, not pull them down in post-match interviews!

  • Nampally on October 27, 2011, 19:33 GMT

    While I disagree with Dhoni on his comments about Aaron & Yadav, I do agree that bowling needs to improve. India has excellent young bowlers in Ashwin, Rahul Sharma & Ojha (Spin) whilst Aaron, Yadav, Tyagi, Ahmad & Shukla are all bowling> 140 KPH. Why select Aravind & Mithun ahead of Tyagi, Shulka & Ahmad. No wonder India has all sub 130 KPH fast bowlers.Selecting OJha,Rahul & Aaron would have won at least 3 ODI's in England. The story does not end there. Even if these talented bowlers make it to the squad, they are dropped from the XI - benched as Drinks Boy.Why did Dhoni not include Aaron in any of the 5 ODI's in England when he was especially flown there? Why was Rahul Sharma not included in at least one of 5 ODI's vs. England in India - even after dead Rubber?Ojha was ignored for England as well as Indian ODI's.How can Indian bowling improve MSD, when you exclude the best available talent in India?.These bowlers need experience by playing in XI. Pease encourage youngsters!.

  • dummy4fb on October 27, 2011, 17:32 GMT

    i will continue like one fellow cricket follower said undian attack ..munaf,bhajji,sreesanth(thought he was best in 2nd test) mishra now bowling well and then zaheer injured .. i will never play him against west indies let the guy get fit.. he needs to be there in australia to guide others ishant was gr8 until he some how lsot rythem in england i mean wht he got injured? i dont get it things were gr8 in 2nd innings in lords...sigh well i will play him in australia jsut for hte sake of it.. just last chance for guy to prove so my bowlers in squad would be (not team) zaheer,ishtan,praveen,ashwin (for sure!) then any of young guys...aaron,umesh i will pick aarondon know he just looked better bowler who knows wht he is doing umesh was morel ike shaun tait category go out htere and do ur thingif u go for runs no problem jsut get wickets in tests that does not work u need to be consistent u should know art of picking wickets...

  • dummy4fb on October 27, 2011, 17:24 GMT

    actually aaron i saw his previous matches he wasnt like htis before his line wasnt htis gr8 he wwas quick but he didn't looked like picking wickets at international level .. but after australian emerging playyers tournament and tour ot england trust me he owuld ve talked to people and bowled in nets staying iwth international team bowlng ot best batsmen in the world in nets helps they say good batsman come up when they play gr8 bowlers at domestic level i think opposite can also happens earlier he looked more like umesh yadav , talanted , quick, but raw not complete now he knows his game the way he got cook brings smile :)) more over htis guy looks like genuine pacer he is built like a fast bowler ishant was rythem guy thiny would hit good speeds when in rythem other wise 135 this guy will alwyas bowl quick u can tell he already hed stresss facture wasim said every one of their pak bowlers hed them when they were young it makes back stronger afterwords ;)

  • Paceman49 on October 27, 2011, 14:16 GMT

    It is good that the Indian cricket board did not replace Dhoni as captain.He is cool all the time.He acts the same losing or winning.Sign of a great captain.Stands behind his players.His remark about the younger players saving runs is so true.It was good to see them play as well as they did..knowing that some could of played even better.India can now pick their best teams for each discipline and not worry.England are back to the drawing board.

  • spinkingKK on October 27, 2011, 11:15 GMT

    I totally agree with Nampally regarding Dhoni's unfair criticism of Aaron. I congratulate Dhoni for such a convincing win and such a great batting display he showed in this series. However, I beleive Dhoni is biased and he shows that in his selection of the team and handling of his bowlers (His handling of Sreesanth in England was well criticised by me before). The good thing about being biased is, he is giving a lot of confidence to his favorites and as a result, they perform well (until when they are placed in a situation where their confidence alone was not enough) and as a result, team perform well. Major part of the cricket is psychological and therefore, confidence matters a lot. However, the downside of favoritism is, everybody else will start the favoritism whenever they get a chance as well. Also, we will miss out on seeing the actual potential of India and actual spirit of India.

  • sukuviju on October 27, 2011, 8:08 GMT

    When i see Vinay Kumar start his run-up, I am reminded of Madan Lal - both these guys run faster than they bowl. These guys don't believe in change of pace, they deceive the batsmen with lack of pace. Batsmen struggle to read their bowling - how often you come across spinners with a fast bowlers run-up, how often you see an off spin disguised as an in-swinger. Smart guys, they believe in being different.

  • indianzen on October 27, 2011, 6:26 GMT

    I think I can understand Dhoni a little now, he is not ready to experiment things abroad, but he is ok to give things a try while at home comfortable. He is slowly bringing the talents out of the bowlers. just the pace bowling department needs to improve... Ashwin and Jadeja will be the best spinning allrounder pair available in the world...

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