MS Dhoni refuses to underestimate West Indies in ODIs

PTI| Updated: Nov 20, 2013, 17:36 PM IST

Kochi: It would be a mistake to believe that India will enjoy an upper hand against the West Indies in the One-day series just because the Caribbean side has lost the Test series, skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni said.

India had won the series 2-0 but Dhoni said it was not an easy task to get that scoreline and the ODI format may actually suit the West Indies cricketers.

"The West Indies are a good team. You may say that the Test matches got over on the third day itself and it was easy but it was not. There were situations where we were under pressure and then we had to build a partnership. It was not an easy series as the scorecard suggest.
ODI is a different squad and this may be suiting them as far as 50-50 overs match," Dhoni said at the pre-match press conference.

"It is important that we take the match with a right frame of mind and not thinking about whether the opposition played well or not."

Most of the matches in the ODI series against Australia were high score affairs. Asked if similar scores can be seen in the three-match series against the West Indies, Dhoni said it cannot be predicted at this stage.

"It all depends on how the wicket here is going to behave. Before the start it is not easy to say what will be the good score to win a match. We will see how the wicket behaves and then we plan and may be 260 or 280 could be a good score if it becomes flat. The dew factor has also to be taken and then an average of 230 or 240 could be an ideal score."

Dhoni said his players have worked hard on bowling in death overs and hoped that will show on the field gradually.

"What we have done after the Australia series, we are making the bowlers to do a death over bowling practice. But it still requires a little more time to reflect it on the field. But, they are putting in a lot of effort and we have seen a lot of improvement in that front. I am hoping that they come out well after the effort they are putting in," he said.

Dhoni said there was no fixed slot for any batsman in the team and batting order maybe changed according to the situation but emphasised that number four slot was crucial.

"Number four is the platform where you consolidate the innings. It is a very huge slot and who will bat at four or five you will have to wait and watch. We do not give anyone a slot that you will bat at number four or five or so on. It all depends on the number of overs available.

"If a good partnership is going and they bat for 30 or 32 overs, then we shuffle our batting order. It depends on the situation," he said.
Talking about Yuvraj Singh`s comeback, Dhoni said,"The conditions will be tough. You know it is very humid out there. So, I think it is very important that he enjoys the game without thinking about our performance in the Test series. One has to be in a good frame of mind."

Asked if a team for next World Cup was in mind out of the current lot of players.

"As of now, we have to get a pool of bowlers. That is what we are doing. Most of them have done well at the domestic levels and they have also played in few international matches and done well. But we have to see them in few more games to see as to how they bowl and then we will have a fair idea as to what needs to be done.

"We are trying to give the present lot chances and of course there are priority and at the same time you are looking at winning the ODI series. It is a slow process and it is good if they are able to get their chances in the middle and see how they handle pressure," Dhoni said.

Asked if he felt strange playing against Dwayne Bravo, who is his IPL teammate, Dhoni said,"We are now playing as rivals and it is not strange. At the same time, he has been very good for our team (CSK). IPL is a different cup of tea and it is a good contest but again you will have to see the West Indian side. They are not only good players, they are fantastic human beings. So, it is a good feel."

Asked If Indian team was under pressure to win ODIs against the West Indies after an emotional series and before embarking for South Africa tour, Dhoni said there was nothing new when it comes to pressure.

"You are talking about emotions but we will have to see which was difficult. Whenever an Indian team plays whichever the opposition, we play irrespective of where we are playing. We are always set to be under pressure and we always are set in a situation where it is difficult to win a series. It is another series for us after having won the Test series," Dhoni said.