New Zealand v India, 5th ODI, Wellington January 31, 2014

Dhoni backs faltering batsmen


Crowe: No one did a Sehwag at the top of the order

MS Dhoni has indicated that India will keep the faith in their current group of limited-overs batsmen in whom they have "invested heavily." Dhoni said his batsmen were merely going through a poor phase and hoped they will be up to the challenge of coming out of it, after their failures on successive tours to South Africa and New Zealand. Only Virat Kohli and Dhoni were able to resist New Zealand, with Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, Ajinkya Rahane, Suresh Raina and Ambati Rayudu all yielding poor returns.

"In international cricket you go through this phase," Dhoni said. "Once you make your debut at the international level, the first season you have a very good season. People start to plan about you. That's the time when the tug of war starts, where you try to solve the problems that are created by the opposition and the opposition will look to improve whatever their formula or plan is. So it is a constant tug of war. It has just started I believe."

The last season was fantastic for us but now the opposition will have their plans for all the batsmen and they will keep working on their plans. It will be all about how quickly we adapt and what we need to do to get out of the questions that will be asked by the opposition. I think it is a phase that we are going through. But what will be crucial is what kind of solutions we have got. How we plan to get out of it. How individually we prepare for the challenges."

After the series was lost in Hamilton, Dhoni had said he had little clarity on the fast bowlers he could take with him to the 2015 World Cup. He however stood by his batsmen on whom he said the team had already expended plenty of effort.

"We have invested a lot. As I said after the first season, once you become a settled side the opposition start planning about each and every batsman and that has been the case all over the world. And this is a phase I feel they will all get out of, answering the fresh questions that are asked of them.

"They are talented enough to get out of it. But they will need to put in a lot of effort in the practice sessions and mentally making their plans what they need to do once they go into the game. I am hoping with the kind of talent they have, the amount of games that they have played they will come out of it and that will be a big positive for us."

Abhishek Purohit is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on February 5, 2014, 0:17 GMT

    As for batting department concern we need sehwag and gambir back in the team. Gambir with rohit or dhawan open the batting in ODI and sehwag should be tried at number 4 in ODI.D karthik or yuvraj should be no 5 and number 7 is a big concern too.Jadeja should be number 8 because he is just a left arm bowler .by hitting 2 fifties in 50 cant say he is a batting alrounder.Try Stuart binny at 7.I am completely agree that dhoni don't respect senior players.As for bowling concern ashwin and ishant should not be playing.We should try ishwar pande,umesh yadav and amit Mishra.

  • Magesh on February 4, 2014, 19:04 GMT

    One thing I don't understand when every body says Dhoni takes credit for winning the match !!! When India win the match every body start praising Dhoni means what he can do for that !! If DHoni fans started praising him means he is nothing do with that !!! From my prespective Dhoni is always a great captain with exceptional view of cricket !!! He sets a traget then plan and practice for it despite heavy criticism and achieves it !!! I am damn sure that India will win world cup 2015 !!! ESPNCRICINFO may preserve this comment :)

  • S on February 4, 2014, 15:22 GMT

    Karthik for Dhoni in tests. No Ashwin outside India. No Raina and no Ishanth in tests - No more.

  • Dummy4 on February 4, 2014, 10:51 GMT

    Dhoni's playing his favourites does not make reserves secure . Even when reserves get chances they would be under pressure for they would not get chances like Raina , Rohit , Ishant , Jadeja and be dropped after a game or too . Dhoni should be encouraging Aaron and guiding him rather than blasting his bowlers in post match press conference. Umesh has been shunned by him and he is averse to playing Amit Mishra over Ashwin is well known .Besides reluctance to have Pujara in for ODIs has Only Jadeja seems to be doing reasonably well though needs to prove with bat that he can be consistent . He talks about inexperience but does he ever wants to take experienced players back into team. Yuvraj could have been tried . If Ashwin can't take wickets abroad why can't we have bhajji back .But seems has his own plans rather than having a game plan to win . Praveen Kumar who was effective in ODIs abroad should be recalled, Bhuvi has not been able get the same swing with kookaburra or a dukes ball

  • Anand on February 4, 2014, 4:13 GMT

    We assumed Dhoni is a great captain but he is not. Under his captainship we got lot of talent and failed to use the talent well. He should be sacked along with the coach. Dhoni is a predictable captain who did not take any risk.

  • ESPN on February 4, 2014, 2:40 GMT

    All this,time we did not hear or see any complains against Dhoni...but suddenly when indians are in a bad shape after recent tour of SA and NZ everyone starts complaing Dhoni.....

  • Naman on February 3, 2014, 18:58 GMT

    @Stormbringer. I completely agree with you buddy. Being a Hardcore Indian fan, I do agree that BCCI is not 100% thinking about the progress of cricket in india. They are more focused on generating revenue, which is fine but they shouldnt be forgetting about selecting the right stock of players, also giving younger players like Samson, and Zol, who are outstandingly talented players with very compact technique. And I still dont understand why Dinesh Karthik was dropped after CT last year. He is a good player and maybe could be used in test opening slot. BCCI needs some serious thinking and actions to take if they even want India to continue as a decent Test team for next 15 yrs or even for future of Indian cricket because its not easy at all to fill the slots of sachin, rahul, sehwagh, saurav, bhajji, kumble, laxman, Zak, and even Gambhir to certain extent. Cricinfo, please publish.

  • Dummy4 on February 3, 2014, 17:39 GMT

    With the World Cup being played in the Australian Continent, India are currently underdogs trying to DEFEND A TITLE WON IN INDIA. I have been saying this very often - With technology, India should prepare fast wickets in high altitude places in India and practice/play 50% of their cricket on those hard pitches to compete at an international level, instead of playing on dirt track all the time and letting history repeat itself. Alternatively, good Indian batsmen should be sponsored to play in the English league cricket to harness their skills on hard pitches. The problem is created with the amount of money being paid to cricketers who play in the IPL and other lucrative advertising contracts that come their way within the local market, that keep them at home. When will India learn to play abroad??

  • Navin on February 3, 2014, 16:44 GMT

    Getting a Reallity check, the current Indian Team is average and will have difficult time replacing people like Sachin, Sehwag, Gambhir,Rahul, Laxman, Kumble, Yuvi and Dada. Kohli and Dhoni were part of the world cup team but they were there with the big guys who are gone and now need support to win matches. Getting a good start is missing and bowling needs a lot of improvement to compete. Morale wise they may be low too without the experience. As for a captain, Dhoni is Ok for short format. He is useless for test captain, good weeketkeeper batsman but we will never know because others are not given chances.

  • Ibrahim on February 3, 2014, 12:02 GMT

    Totally agree to what Siddhant is telling... Dhoni takes the credit for all the matches India have won.... If you take out those Major Titles INDIA have won - World T20, World CUP... YUVRAJ SINGH has played a major role in both those major triumph.. Look @ the record of the players(everyone knows who they are) whom Dhoni is favoring.... Its time to give DHONI his own medicine by beginning to drop him from the test squad... He doesn't see himself fitting in the test side rather just be a passenger-captain.

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