Bowling at death remains a concern: Dhoni

India captain MS Dhoni is not ready to gloss over the fact that bowling at death remains the team's lone chink in the armour.

updated: June 04, 2009 07:59 IST
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The crushing win against Pakistan did lift the morale but India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni is not ready to gloss over the fact that bowling at death remains the team's lone chink in the armour.

Even though Dhoni sounded happy about the overall performance of the team that steamrolled Pakistan by nine wickets in Wednesday's warm-up tie, the Indian captain was particularly perturbed about bowling at death.

"Even though it was a warm-up match, I think winning it was important for us. After the defeat against New Zealand, the response from the players was amazing today," Dhoni said.

"But still there are certain areas which need to be addressed, like bowling the last couple of overs," he said.

"You have to be good at the end. Fortunately, we have options and players who can bowl at the end," Dhoni said.

Both against New Zealand and Pakistan, R P Singh proved particularly expensive towards the end as India bled some late boundaries in both the matches.

Dhoni, however, had no other major complains.

"We did not field well initially and the energy level was quite down. But after (Suresh) Raina got that run out, it was high again. Spinners then came to the party and Ishant (Sharma) was at his best again," he said.

The Indian captain admitted he was worried with Pakistan's brisk start and thought they might end up getting a 180-score.

"They looked like getting 200 at some stage but we always knew in twenty20, if you lose a few wickets in the middle overs, you are in trouble. If you have good spinners, you can always put pressure on the opposition. I thought if we can restrict them to 165, that would be achievable. But if you have to chase 180, you are always under pressure, whatever be the conditions," Dhoni explained. Rohit Sharma (80) and Gautam Gambhir (52) added 140 runs for the opening stand to set the match for India and Dhoni said the middle order too would have to do well when the tournament starts.

"I think the middle order did not get enough chance so far. But we have got talented guys in the middle and I know they can overcome any obstacle," he said.

Dhoni's Pakistani counterpart Younis Khan felt 158 was not a good enough score.

"I think we fell short by 30-40 runs. After all we had such a great start when 200 looked a possibility.

"Anyway, this is a warm-up match and I'm delighted with the performance of the youngsters in the side. I hope they would continue performing so when the main tournament gets underway," he said.