Dhoni hints at a few experiments in the series against WI starting today before the crucial tour of Australia in December
Kochi: The series against West Indies will be India’s only chance to iron out any flaws before embarking on the tough tour of Australia and skipper Mahendra Singh yesterday hinted that the hosts will try out a few things in the home rubber against the Caribbeans starting here today.
The Indian team warms up during a practice session ahead of the first ODI against West Indies in Kochi yesterday. Pic/PTI.
The West Indies are presently touring India for five ODIs, three Tests and one-off Twenty20 International.
On the eve of the first ODI at the Nehru Stadium, Dhoni, however, made it clear that although he will look to experiment with a few things, winning the series is of paramount importance for India.
‘Important to start well’
“We want to see the bigger picture here. We want to do a few things (in the series) because you don’t want to go to Australia and say we should have done this, we should have done that. We will see what our cricketers can offer (against West Indies) and I will also see what best I can do,” Dhoni said at the pre-match press conference ahead of the first ODI.
Shikhar Dhawan takes a break during a practice session in Kochi
“But it is important to start well and look to win the series. This is first and foremost in our minds,” he stressed.
After the conclusion of the series against the West Indies, India will tour Australia from December 2014 to January 2015, for four Tests followed by an ODI tri-series that also feature England.
In the absence of injured Rohit Sharma, Ajinkya Rahane is expected to take up the responsibility of opening the batting. But Dhoni did not mince words when he said he always prefers Rahane over Rohit in the opening slot and even hinted that the former can be asked to take up the role in Australia.
West Indies will be without the services of Sunil Narine in as he was dropped after the mystery spinner was reported for suspect action during the recent CLT20. Dhoni, however, refused to buy the theory that India will have an advantage in the series because of Narine’s absence, and said it is time the ICC clamps down on offenders.
Asked about Kuldeep Yadav’s surprise inclusion in the team for the first three ODIs, Dhoni said the rookie left-arm spinner deserved to be tested at the international level following his impressive showing in the Champions League T20.
“We will see as to how he copes up with international cricket. What we saw in the CLT20 was that being a wrist spinner he was getting a bit of purchase and still he has the knack of confusing the batsmen. “We will see how he copes up with higher levels of cricket, how he soaks up the pressure in front of over 40,000 people,” he said.
6: The number of ODIs India have won in Kochi. The hosts have lost two
Live today: India vs West Indies on Star Sports 1, 3, HD 1 and DD National, 14:30