India to play 5 specialist bowlers against Aussies

The Indian team management has decided to play five specialist bowlers against Australia in their Group A match of the ICC Champions Trophy on Monday.

updated: September 27, 2009 14:32 IST
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New Delhi:

Ahead of their must-win clash against Australia, Indian skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni in a candid admission on Sunday said that his bowlers are lacking in confidence after their defeat against Pakistan and indicated India would field five specialist bowlers against Australia.

Pakistan rattled up a huge 302 for nine against India in Saturday's clash, creaming Indian bowlers all around the park en route to an impressive 54-run win.

"I would say they are short of confidence. These are talented boys who have bowled well in all conditions. Once they start clicking everything will fall in place.

"The thing is you see good performances in the domestic and IPL circuit and you suddenly think of them as India prospects. But a 50-over game is different from a 20-over match. It also tests your endurance, whether you are similarly fresh in bowling at the death," Dhoni said.

To keep their semi-final chances alive India will have to beat Australia on Monday and West Indies in the last league match on Wednesday.

Dhoni believed the wicket at the SuperSport park on Monday would be a fresh one.

"One doesn't know how it would behave. But yes we did bowl a bit too short on that wicket (at New Wanderers). We needed to bowl full," he said.

Dhoni also announced that he would go with five bowlers in the game against Australia.

"It sure gets tough with the batsmen if you play an extra bowler but then it's one and the same thing if bowlers go for major runs. It again brings the pressure on batsmen. So in this case the batsmen would have to take responsibility," said Dhoni ahead of Monday's clash.

Dhoni didn't elaborate on the choice of bowlers he would opt for but his word on Yusuf Pathan's poor form did indicate his mindset.

"Yusuf has loads of talent and he has been dominating at the domestic and IPL level. But he hasn't translated it in international level. That's a worry," he said.

Dhoni, despite reverses on the field, looks pretty much in control but the Indian skipper said it was misleading.

"You don't see me panicking on the field but the pressure is always there. Now you also have to worry all the time whether what kind of fields you should have in the next game or the options you have," he said when asked if he was experiencing any pressure ahead crucial clash.

"It's quite draining but you don't see me (looking fatigued) in the middle. I love challenges."

As India faced a knockout situation, Dhoni also reflected on the ill-luck with which the team has been dogged in recent times.

"If you look at it, not one or two but quite a few top players of ours have been injured at the same time. That's tough," he rued.