Dhoni wants batsmen to curb instinct, last full 50 overs
Ahemdabad: Wary of India`s new-found tendency to collapse in a heap, skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni has set his team the target of batting their full quota even if that means less productive slog overs.
The cavalier attitude of their batsmen has proved a headache for India as they failed to bat out their full quota of 50 overs in their group matches against England, South Africa and West Indies after cruising at one stage.
"In all the games we were in a position where we wanted to accelerate and get as many runs as possible. I think that was one of the main reasons why we lost a number of wickets as we did," Dhoni told reporters on Wednesday.
Against England, India were placed merrily at 305-3 and few could imagine that they would collapse for 338 in that tied match.
South Africa further exposed their vulnerability when the co-hosts lost their last nine wickets for 29 runs to end up short of the 300-mark after a blistering start from their openers.
In their final group match against West Indies in Chennai, India lost their last seven wickets for 50 runs to get bundled out in the last over of their innings.
"Of course, you need to accelerate but once you have lost those maybe two-three wickets you need to curb your instincts and look to bat 50 overs," Dhoni said.
"Instead of looking to get 40 runs you should look to get 20-25 runs which may really count at the end of the day."
Dhoni sounded a warning for Australia`s pace battery and said handling fiery fast bowling or short-pitched deliveries was not a new thing for the Indian batsmen.
"Definitely they have got good fast bowlers. But not to forget, we have won a test match at Perth and the last time we won at Durban," the Indian captain said with a wry smile on his face.
"People have been talking about short-pitched stuff a lot. It`s not new to us. It always follows us. Wherever we are, the shadow of short-pitched deliveries can be seen. So I don`t think it`s a new strategy."
"That`s a big positive for both sides because you want your key players to perform and being intense also helps you perform."
A clash between India and Australia always brings about the best in players and Dhoni expected the intensity to be high from both sides in Thursday`s do-or-die match.
"In the last two-three years we have seen that the India-Australia bilateral series is among the most viewed series which means that the players are more intense on the field and they want to give their best," he said.
"They know that the whole world is keeping a keen eye on the contest between the players. That`s also a reason why we are seeing more intensity and people wanting to perform in these big games.