Dharamsala: India's limited overs captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni on Thursday said that the search is still on for a potent cricketer, who can fit into the role of a seam bowling all-rounder that will help getting the team combination right.
Dhoni spoke in the context of team's bowling combination which hinges on whether they have a quality seamer all-rounder.
"We have four spinners (Ravi Ashwin, Harbhajan Singh, Amit Mishra and Axar Patel) and three proper seamers (Mohit Sharma, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Sreenath Aravind) and a seamer all-rounder (Stuart Binny)," Dhoni said at the pre-match conference.
"So it gives you that luxury of going with the right combination, depending on the scenario. Also you have to see strength of the team. Like if we go with two spinners, one of them has to be a better batsman. We don't have a seamer all-rounder, who can give us 4 overs in a T20 game or for that matter 10 overs in a 50-over game and also bat as well. So we have to keep all these factors (in mind)," said the T20 captain.
The skipper also kept cards close to his chest as to whether he would bat up the order or not. It will depend on what the situation warrants.
"I would love to. We have to see the composition of the side, who is best suited to bat at what what position.
Especially in T20s, most of our players are top-order batsmen but when it comes to IPL or T20 international, they bat at different positions.
"For example, Rohit opens over here and Ajinkya Rahane who bats in the middle order, opens in IPL. So we have to see, depending on that I will decide. Most of our batsmen like to bat up the order, somebody has to bat middle and late order," he said.
Asked if Suresh Raina could take over the mantle of an ideal finisher, a job that he has performed remarkably in the earlier years, Dhoni replied in negative.
"Raina is not a finisher. We play more T20s and have more statistics from IPL than T20 Internationals. He is somebody who has batted at No 3 in most of the matches. We promoted him in 2009 and he did well. So we have to place them strategically, so that it helps the team."
Dhoni said the current T20 series against the Proteas will hardly have any impact on their World Twenty20 preparations.
"It's too early. There is lot of time before World T20.
The good things is that January onwards, we will play lot of T20s. Maybe we can test combinations in those games. And it gives equal opportunities to all. In big tournaments, the top 3 or 4 get to bat and others are then tested in knock-out stages. Then there is a problem.
"If there are these many matches then you can rotate because you are not bothered too much about the result. You want top-6 in good form and best bowlers have enough matches.
So these three (matches) will not have much of an impact."
Asked how challenging will it be for players to switch formats in this tour as they are set to play T20s, then ODIs and conclude with a four-Test series, Dhoni said the sequence of this series is not an issue for him.
"It is difficult to switch from Tests to Twenty20 Internationals. I always thought that switch from T20 to Tests is always easy --- the reason being you can curb your instincts. When you switch from Test to T20s, the game demands you have to hit from the first ball. You want some kind of flow and have a big swing. It's difficult. It may be different to individuals."
Dhoni said he has not had a look at the pitch but dew can make toss an important factor.
"It has a bit more pace and bounce. The ball travels faster but if lot of dew is there then toss can be vital. If you start getting dew at 7:15 after starting at 7, then it will be same in both the innings. But it has been noticed that as the games progresses, the bowlers especially spinners face problems, he concluded.