M. S. Dhoni pleased with spin show

After a one-day series where his bowlers gave him little chance of being certain of anything, M. S. Dhoni was pleased with a victory that he could see coming from a distance. "The kind of talent they (our spinners) have, they can exploit the bigger outfield, especially on one side, and that’s what really happened," Dhoni said.

Yuvraj Singh bowled six dot balls, and did not allow a single boundary to be scored off him, in the two overs he bowled.   -  AP

After a one-day series where his bowlers gave him little chance of being certain of anything, M. S. Dhoni was pleased with a victory that he could see coming from a distance. Despite Australia's early assault, he did not feel the urge to bring his spinners on, knowing they would be hard to attack with the field back.

“I was pretty sure about what I wanted to do,” Dhoni said after India's win in the second T20I here on Friday. “I was like, 'I’m not giving spinners any overs in the first six.' I knew they would hit a few boundaries off the fast bowlers but I thought the spinners would have a very good chance, even if the run-rate was 10 an over for the first six overs. The kind of talent they (our spinners) have, they can exploit the bigger outfield, especially on one side, and that’s what really happened.”

He added: “If you execute well, irrespective of a fast bowler or spinner, the captain will look good, the players will look good. But if you don’t execute well, all of a sudden it looks like there is no plan and no one has any plan about what needs to be done. Now the spinners are bowling really well - thought it’s not like they were bowling badly - but we have to look at the rule changes (in ODI cricket) also. It’s quite against the spinners. I feel they’ll have to do something with the rule in ODIs, because in T20Is you have five fielders outside throughout, so you have that extra fielder.”

Dhoni was pleased with Yuvraj's effort with the ball. “Well, the strength of the pie-chucker is his bowling, you know! You need more individuals who can do more than one job on the field. It just adds to the strength of the side. Yuvi bowled really well, and he was hitting the areas. With more and more games, he’ll keep getting better and better, because he’s that sort of a player,” he said.

Despite success, changes may be made for World T20

Is it possible this would be India's side now for the World T20, Dhoni was asked. “If you’re saying possible, then definitely it is possible, but we’ll have to wait and watch; there will be selection meetings,” he said. “And it’s slightly different now, because we are playing in Australia. There will be a few changes that will be made for the 15 because that won’t be like a bilateral series where you can pick 16 or 17 players. So you have to see from the utility point of view who you want to keep in the side. You need more players who can come into the team in more situations. If you have people who are just looking to replace one individual, it will be difficult.”

If India fielded an unchanged team from game one to two of the KFC T20 Series, Australia made six changes, with three players making their T20 debut. These games, it seems, are an opportunity for the selectors to experiment ahead of the World T20.

“The Indian team had no changes,” Shane Watson noted. “They've been a settled team for a long amount of time. I know there were a few new faces, but most of their guys are pretty similar. Six changes [in the Australian team] provides more challenges. The selectors are trying to find what their best fifteen are, and the best team is for the World Cup.”

The lack of continuity in Australian T20 sides was a long-standing issue, Watson admitted. “No doubt, that's the biggest challenge with the Australian T20 team - it always has been. There's so much international cricket, so you've got to manage your players, which always means that there's no continuity with the T20 teams up until a game or two before the T20 World Cup. And that's happened with every T20 World Cup that I've been a part of.”

Watson agreed that India's fielding had seen a marked improvement from a decade ago. “There's no doubt they've got some great athletes, and they'e had those guys for quite a while, too,” he said. “Jadeja is an incredible athlete, he's got great hands, is very quick to the ball and has a great arm. Virat Kohli is fielding incredibly well at the moment as well. Some of the balls he cut down tonight [were great]. So, those two guys, let alone the rest of the group, do a great job on the field. It's certainly changed a bit from the days when they had Virender Sehwag, my old mate Rahul Dravid and V.V.S. Laxman running around there (smiles).”