Dhoni has greater expectations from pacers
Auckland: India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni yesterday said his fast bowlers have to be ready to bowl long spells if needed during the two-match Test series against New Zealand starting today.
Zaheer Khan bowls during the warm up match against New Zealand XI in Whangarei on Sunday. Pic/AFP and (Inset) MS Dhoni
Dhoni, who blamed the bowlers for India's 0-4 loss in the ODIs, asked his pacers to show the same kind of intensity they had showed during the Test series in South Africa.
"In South Africa, I felt they did a very good job. Even when we bowled too many overs, when they came for the last spell, they were still putting in a lot of effort.
That is what is important. You don't want to give away easy runs. Let the opposition score off good shots. It was a good performance from them, depending on the scenario," he said.
"But if the situation demands, they will have to go for long spells," he added. Dhoni said Indians pacers have to be patient and that is where veteran Zaheer Khan's experience will come handy.
"In the subcontinent, at times the only thing fast bowlers look for is wickets. Sometimes they only have two or three spells in the whole day.
"But here the scenario changes. They have to bowl more overs, they have to keep coming back for second, third spell.
It will be a real help to the fast bowlers as he (Zaheer) is someone who has played a lot outside the subcontinent. It is always good to have an experienced bowler in the side," he said.
The number of matches won by New Zealand while playing against India at the Eden Park in Auckland.
Of the four games played between the two nations here, New Zealand lost the first two while the next two ended in draws.
The number of Indians to score a century at Eden Park — Mohammed Azharuddin (192) in 1990, Sunil Gavaskar (116) in 1976 and Surinder Amarnath (124) in 1976 on his debut
The number of Indian players from the current touring squad to have played Tests in New Zealand — Zaheer Khan (two and three Tests in 2002 & 2009 respectively), Ishant Sharma (three games in 2009) and skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni (two Tests in 2009).
The number of wickets claimed by Ravichandran Ashwin at a poor strike rate of 74.77 while playing abroad. He went wicketless in the just-concluded series in South Africa in December. In contrast to these figures, his performance at home is far better — 95 victims at a healthy rate of 24.12.