Ahead of the crucial second One-Day International against Pakistan at the Eden Gardens here, Indian skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni yesterday admitted that batting was a “concern” and hoped his batsmen would come good in the match yesterday.
“It is a must-win game for us and obviously we are under a bit of pressure, especially when it is a short series. Our batting has been a problem. That is one area that we need to come good in. It is the right time for our batters to come back to form,” Dhoni told mediapersons on the match-eve.
Dhoni also said that the team was going through a transition period as some of the legends, including Sachin Tendulkar, had bowed out.
“The team is going through a transition period, some of our frontline bowlers are injured and we have an inexperience bowling line up. However, I am not worried, we need to do the basics right,” said Dhoni.
With new rules by the ICC for ODIs introduced in the series, Dhoni said it was important for the team to play according to merit instead of going for big shots. Under the new rules, a maximum of four fielders are allowed to man the boundaries at any stage of the 50-over contest.
“With just four fielders outside the circle, there can be temptation to play big shots which can eventually lead to wickets. So it is imperative that we play the ball according to its merit. We need to keep wickets in hand and not think too much about big scores.”
The captain, however, was quick to back his batsmen.
“We have done well in the shorter formats of the game and it would be unfair to blame the batsmen just on the basis of the last game,” said Dhoni.
Dhoni, who has persisted in playing with four frontline bowlers and seven batsmen, also defended his decision.
“Had there not been a seventh batsman we could have ended under 120 in the last game. It is more like a catch-22 situation where you want to play five bowlers but also want a seventh batsman. However, it is imperative that our part-time bowlers bowl smartly and not give away easy runs,” he said.
Pakistan skipper Misbah-ul-Haq exuded confidence about his team doing well at the Eden where Pakistan have won all the three ODIs they have played against India.
“It certainly gives you confidence. Both as a team and players, we have very good memories from here. When you have done well at a particular venue you feel confident but at the same time we need to play well here to win,” said Misbah.