Adelaide: The Indian cricket team has been bogged down by the bowlers’ poor form in recent times but captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni on Saturday said that the batting line-up also lacked depth as compared to other sides taking part in the World Cup beginning next week.

Dhoni said that his side will have to preserve wickets to score more runs at the slog overs as the batting line-up was not that deep. He also said that the batting order will not be fixed and will be changed according to the situation.

‘Need wickets in hand’
“We are not that deep when it comes to batting and are different to other teams. Wickets in hands is our strength and once we have wickets in hand we can really exploit the conditions. You have to pick options and learn to score runs freely. Also, we will have to alter our batting order according to the conditions,” Dhoni said at an open media session ahead of the World Cup which begins in Melbourne and Christchurch on February 14.

Batting has been India’s strength traditionally, and it may decide the country’s fortunes in their defence of the World Cup as most of the bowlers have been struggling. Dhoni’s comments that the Indian batting has less depth than other teams could mean that it could be a tough job to defend the title they won in 2011.

He said batting and bowling in the middle overs will hold the key to India’s success in the tournament. “What is important is to adapt to the conditions and the middle overs. Bowling in the middle overs will also be crucial because that will put pressure on the opposition which will put a cap on the scoring from the 35th over onwards and the slog. We have not had much opportunity to bowl in the slog overs which is something that will come into action when the World Cup starts,” said Dhoni.

It’s just another match against Pak
Asked about the much-anticipated and potentially high-voltage clash against arch-rivals Pakistan in their World Cup campaign opener, Dhoni said that the Adelaide Oval match on February 15 will be just another game of
cricket. “A lot of people have different views about the India-Pakistan matches. How I personally take it is similar to playing Australia, Sri Lanka or any other Test playing nation. The moment you start thinking about a traditional rivalry, you are just going to be adding pressure to yourself,” he said.

The 33-year-old Indian captain said that the two warm-up games — against Australia today and against Afghanistan on February 10 — will be crucial as the team will decide the playing XI for the Pakistan match after that. “We will use the two warm-up games to settle with the playing XI that will feature in the first game.”