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November 5, 2011
India captain MS Dhoni has said he is confident of his bowling line-up delivering against West Indies during the first Test, which begins in New Delhi on Sunday, despite their inexperience. He said there should be at least two debutants for India.
"We're expecting at least two debuts," Dhoni said. "It's not difficult [with so many new bowlers] because, if you see the bowlers who will play, [they] have played the ODI format and had a fair amount of exposure when it comes to international cricket.
"They will not get really excited. The seniors are there to help them and rescue them [if they're anxious]. They are looking in good shape."
Of the six specialist bowlers in India's squad, four of them - R Ashwin, Umesh Yadav, Varun Aaron and Rahul Sharma - have not played a Test as yet. Ishant Sharma, with 38 Tests, is the most experienced of the lot.
The Feroz Shah Kotla pitch, Dhoni said, looks like it might have a little more bounce than usual. "The wicket looks good, the bounce might be better than the usual Kotla wicket. It will not turn from the first day but as the game progresses, the spinners will get help.
"Light may be a factor, it may mean we start a bit late and end a little early. The last two days have been a little cloudy and misty."
This is India's first Test series since their 4-0 drubbing in England, and it precedes another big series in Australia, but Dhoni said the team is concentrating on the present. "There's no good reason why we should be thinking about England. It is all about looking ahead, that is what we have done. The Australia series, though, is too far away, no point thinking about it. West Indies, we will not take them lightly. That is a mistake none of the international sides will make."
He said India will need to start afresh if they want to repair their reputation after the England debacle. "We're not bothered about the rankings, [but] we want to be the best in the world. We did not do well in England. It becomes a process, it is the start of another process for us, hopefully will get there [to the top] and sustain it."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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Shorter tours don't allow you time to get into form, and domestic cricket isn't demanding enough