Will play five bowlers against Australia: Dhoni

Colombo: India cricket captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni indicated Thursday that he would be going in with five bowlers against Australia in Friday’s crucial Super Eights match of the World Twenty20 tournament.

The India captain also had a close look at the pitch at the R. Premedasa Stadium and had a chat with the curator as well.

“We will go into the game with five bowlers, but only after looking at the pitch will we decide to go into the match with two spinners or play three pacemen,” said Dhoni.

Dhoni said it would be a tough decision to make because he would have to drop either Virender Sehwag or Yuvraj Singh.

“It will be one of the toughest decisions I have taken so far. It has to be a good decision – taken according to the needs of the team – because it really matters,” he said.

Asked if Indian batsmen are well prepared to handle short-pitched deliveries from Australian bowlers, Dhoni said: “The short ball is as much trouble to us as it is to anyone else. It just depends on how quick your bowlers are. If I am bowling, I won’t rely on the short ball for sure. But if there is someone who bowls at 145-150, definitely he will use the short-pitched delivery.”

Dhoni said Australians before every match talk about their short-pitched bowling and it was nothing new for him.

“For the last five years, we’ve been talking about different things in the press conferences. But the Aussies, before every match we play, say the same things. Our side has not really changed for the past few years and most of our batsmen have played a decent amount of ODIs and T20 cricket. I think we now know what to do,” he said.

Dhoni said it was time for the top-four in the Indian batting to fire.

“We have noticed, at least in the subcontinent, that the pitches become slower as the match goes on and that is why the first four batsmen have to do a good job for the team. The game changes in between the 8th and the 12th over and that is when wickets generally fall. So it’s important that the top four take advantage of the ball coming on to the bat,” he said.