Sri Lanka v India, tri-series final, Dambulla August 27, 2010

India consider playing extra batsman


India are considering playing an extra batsman in Saturday's final following a slew of collapses in the tri-series. MS Dhoni said at the pre-match press conference that they were toying with the idea of picking a specialist batsman in place of the struggling Ravindra Jadeja.

"If we feel the wicket is dry and not hard then Jadeja will get a spot," Dhoni said, "but if we feel it won't help the spinners and we feel like playing an extra batsman then Jadeja will have to miss."

Allrounder Jadeja has been the preferred option at No. 7 for the past couple of months, but he has not contributed much with the bat on the difficult Dambulla tracks either in the Asia Cup or the current tri-series. The absence of Harbhajan Singh and Zaheer Khan, both of whom are capable batsmen, has weakened India's ability to resist down the order when the specialists fail.

"In this tournament the lower order looks completely different because you don't have Harbhajan Singh who bats at No.8 and you don't have Zaheer Khan who bats at nine," Dhoni said. "They are two batsmen who can score a few runs. When it comes to the four batsmen who we have right now… they have not been able to score, but it won't be justified to put the blame on them because they are in the side for their bowling and they are doing that job."

Virender Sehwag has been the architect of both of India's victories in this tournament, scoring nearly as much as the rest of the team. "I don't want to put pressure on Sehwag since he is a free-flowing cricketer," Dhoni said. "He is a natural aggressive cricketer. So he should back himself and bat the way he bats."

India reached the final after their pumped-up quick bowlers demolished New Zealand's batting on Wednesday. "Last game there was lot of intensity and we are hoping that in tomorrow's match also there is enough intensity," Dhoni said. "First 15 overs and last 10-12 overs and Powerplay is important. In the middle if the intensity drops down a bit it is okay but at the start of the game it sets up the tone for the whole match."

Right through the tournament, Dhoni has stressed on the need to give the opposition bowlers respect in the initial stages of the innings. "I think this has been a series of ups and down not only for our batsman but for all the three teams that have participated. The new ball spell has been important. It will be crucial not too lose too many wickets early. How you do that is not important, whether it looks good or doesn't."

On Saturday, Dhoni will be looking to win his fifth successive one-day series in Sri Lanka as captain. Calling correctly at the toss helps. "We have won many tosses; in the series before the Asia Cup when we had come to Sri Lanka, at the Premadasa, we won four tosses out of five," he said. "Before it we had played the initial part of a series in Dambulla, where again we won several tosses. In this tournament we have seen that the toss is not the factor like in the earlier series."

Siddarth Ravindran is a sub-editor at Cricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on August 28, 2010, 18:16 GMT

    Indian team management should bring back their full Test squad in action for all one-days ahead till the end of World Cup. Also they should avoid the strategy sending in-form player into rest in the name of testing young blood.

  • Dummy4 on August 28, 2010, 16:09 GMT

    Don't understand why the selectors are persisting with Rohith Sharma...talent alone doesn make a player requires commitment and hardwork also...No doubt Rohith is talented but he has no attitude wat so ever...he is a spoiled Brat...kick him out of the team....get in Pujara or Tiwari ....India has to regroup quickly ...get in Irfan...for he is a far better option than Jadeja...Don't know how Jadeja is still lying in the Team...he doesn look a bowler while bowling and doesn look like a Batsman while Batting...n wat about Sreesanth...has he changed enough to make it to the Indian Team...Really feel disappointed to see such a Talent go waste...I have been follwing Indian Cricket for the Past 23 yrs and I have never seen a Indian Pace Bowler as awesome as Sree...But God....he has no attitude at all.....Another Talent wasted....I think we people are to be blamed for these for treating our players like has gone into the head of some of these players....

  • Anil on August 28, 2010, 8:46 GMT

    Guys..this is my playing XI for WC and u decide ..

    1.Sehwag 2.Sachin 3.Gambhir 4.Yuvi 5.Dravid/Raina 6.Dhoni 7.Irfan pathan 8.Bhajji 9.Zaheer 10.Praveen 11.Nehra

    Reserve:1,2,3: Virat Kohli 4,5,6,7:(Raina),Uthappa(bat/keeper) Spinner:Ashwin Pacers:Ishant

    Against tough bowling attacks..we'll play dravid..else raina. Dravid up the order if early wickets fall ..else if we get a good platform he shouldl bat low a whole the inclusion of dravid and irfan pathan holds the key to IND's success..but NO jadeja plsssssssss..!!

  • Dummy4 on August 28, 2010, 8:35 GMT

    I still don't get why youngsters are getting chances at the cost of someone as classy and as legendary as Rahul Dravid who hasn't even retired yet!! He is still a great force to reckon with as he has shown in IPL. And why Jadeja is in the team is a very old and boring question.. Its only Dhoni's ego that has kept Jadeja in the team.

  • Dummy4 on August 28, 2010, 8:29 GMT

    India should play with the same team with Karthik & Jadeja .It is not helpful to make a sudden change in the squad for the 'final match in the same venue/pitch' .. Believe in their ability ..remember the Asia cup final where Karthik was MOM , while Jadeja also played well .. Changes can made after this final .. Gud luck for Indian Team

  • Anil on August 28, 2010, 8:27 GMT

    In order to gift the WC to the master,we definitely need solidity in the middle order..we NEED dravid to come back to no.5 spot and control the innings when the batting collapses..Other than Sachin,Sehwag,Gambhir..we dont really have any technically solid batsmen..ofcourse yuvi off late..but his temperment is questionable..and Dhoni is only a Performer,he can somehow score runs with a technique worse than that of Nehra's,but will definitely fall flat against top class bowling attacks..And the biggest threat that India has is JADEJA,the luckiest cricketer ever..i think he is too over-rated and too many chances..why be in a false pride that he is an all rounder..he is actually a par bowler on spin tracks and a below par batsmen..He has NO IMPACT on any match he plays!!Why not groom somebody like Irfan pathan for the WC??What abt murali kartik who is doing extremely well in recent times at counties??We can even play 7batsmen with sehwag,raina,yuvi bowling 12-15 overs..

  • DEEPAK on August 28, 2010, 8:16 GMT

    I don't think why Mahi opt allrounder to Ravinder Jadeja as he has far better option is yusuf pathan who can ball & bat well and is a match winner. Also why you guys prefer to win toss. In my view you have to play in worse condition and from there you win the match then, if you win i count you as number 1 team. Hope you consider it in future.....Also Kartik has never having the ability to score more than 35 runs and he is opening for India !! Please choose the batsman who can score 100 in his day. There are number of option to bat at No. 1.......Deepak

  • MIR on August 28, 2010, 8:11 GMT

    Wake Up - SELECTORS!!!! you are still in search of an allrounder??? nearing to WORLDCUP when you have great talents available like (IRFAN, YUSUF, NAYAR, ASHWIN other than JADEJA). All we need @ No. 7 is a dashing/demolishing player who can also be used as a pinch hitter on times for which JADEJA is surely not suitable. Please give him a break and bring back IRFAN or YUSUF for sure they will grasp the opportunity or try out ASHWIN. My 15 of WORLD CUP with orders (SACHIN, SEHWAG, GHAMBIR, DHONI, RAINA, YUVRAJ, YOUSUF, HARBHAJAN, ZAHEER, PRAVEEN, NEHRA) reserves (IRFAN, UTHAPA, ISHANT, ASHWIN).

  • Dummy4 on August 28, 2010, 7:45 GMT

    Specialist batsman @ #7! Not a bad idea, but whi is it going to be, Rohit or Tiwari? that's going to be a big decission. Rohit - tried and tested but trusted? Tiwary - an unknown quantity for both team India and for the opposition as well, but is it worth a gamble now? best of luck to Dhoni and India.

  • Dummy4 on August 28, 2010, 7:44 GMT

    India have missed a calm batsmen like Dravid ,Mohamad kife,or even Ganguly. All the batsmen are playing with risk in this squad and out of technique too. For the world cup they will have Tendulkar to fill the vacant position but will it be enough. Take srilanka team , they have Sangakkara,Mahela . India need at least 2 such kind of players. There is more than talent and also pick the right player in the right spot.

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