India likely to retain winning team against Kiwis
Bangalore: An upbeat India are expected to retain the winning combination for the second cricket Test against New Zealand beginning at the Chinnaswamy stadium here Friday.
"We are not going to experiment with the playing eleven. Whatever is the best combination considering the condition of the wicket and the weather, we will go with it,"
A confident India will take on the Kiwis after winning the first Test at Hyderabad Aug 26 by an innings and 115 runs, with their new generation spinning duo Ravichandran Ashwin and Pragyan Ojha claiming 18 wickets in the one-sided tie.
"We also intend to retain the same batting order, with (Cheteshwar) Pujara going at number three and (Virat) Kohli playing at fifth position for the time being. No plans either to send opener (Virender) Sehwag down the order or change (Sachin) Tendulkar`s position."
Centurion Pujara, who bats at one drop, a position long held by former captain and legendary Rahul Dravid, has recovered from a sore injury he suffered while practising Wednesday at the nets.
"Pujara batted and fielded well today (Thursday) at the nets. No injury worries affecting the team. He will be playing as he is fit," Dhoni quipped.
Noting that the inclement weather may dictate the course of the game, as a cloudy sky and even intermittent rains would have a bearing on the field conditions, the keeper said the final 11 would be named early Friday after reading the pitch.
"The first spell, however, will be crucial for both sides as seamers will make best use of the overcast conditions here. If they (Kiwis) bowl first, our batsman have to negotiate their pace attack as its pacers would try get as many wickets as possible. The same holds good for us too," Dhoni observed.
Asked if the wicket having a tinge of grass would change as the game progressed, the captain said it was for the groundsmen to decide as they were still working on the pitch, which was still damp following rains during the week.
"I have requested the groundsmen for a turning track though batsmen have to play on whatever track is provided to them. As the sub-continental specialty is spin, I think we should stick to it," Dhoni asserted.
Affirming that Tendulkar was enjoying playing with youngsters, Dhoni said the batting maestro was happy playing the game all the time with seniors or juniors though people jump to conclusions even if he had scored a 40 or 50.
"Sachin has been under this kind of pressure all along. But he enjoys his cricket, which is very important. When he turns up on the field, he wants to improve all the time," Dhoni pointed out.
Asserting that the team was not overconfident after an innings-win against the visitors, Dhoni said they respect the opponents when playing in any part of the world.
"That`s one good thing with us. Whatever we did right in the first Test we have to repeat it. We will try to stick to our basics. Try to keep things simple. We don`t complicate things and try to put pressure on the opposition,"