Cricket World Cup 2015

Dhoni gives pace bowlers workout

2015-03-10 12:54
Mahendra Singh Dhoni (AFP)

Hamilton - India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni took the opportunity to give his pace bowlers a good workout on a slow pitch by delaying the introduction of his spinners in Tuesday's Cricket World Cup match against Ireland at Seddon Park.

The defending champions have played each of their previous four Pool B matches in Australia and will complete the group stages against Zimbabwe at Eden Park in Auckland on Saturday.

Tuesday's eight wicket win over Ireland confirmed they will top their group after five successive wins.

On Tuesday, Ireland made a flying start after William Porterfield had won the toss, reaching 89 before losing their first wicket from the final ball of the 15th over.

They were then stifled by the Indian spinners, with Dhoni using Suresh Raina's off spin to back up Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja, and were eventually dismissed for an inadequate 259 with an over to spare.

Dhoni said later it was crucial to be flexible over his tactics and he would have introduced spin close to the fourth over had it been a must-win match for his team.

"The few slower ones that were bowled definitely got a bit of bounce and the ball gripped on the surface. So in a really crucial game for us the spinners would have come in really early," he told the post-match news conference.

Dhoni said the new ball was coming on nicely to the bat, which was a good learning curve for his fast bowlers.

"Maybe in the next game we will do it slightly different. I think when we play in Auckland the wicket will be very different. This (Seddon Park) is the slowest New Zealand wicket that you will see," he said.

Dhoni praised the bowling of Ashwin, whose first eight overs cost only 19 runs.

"I have pushed him to bowl in the power plays and to use him in difficult situations. He's very confident about his bowling, he understands his bowling well. The good thing about him is he keeps improving," Dhoni said.

"It's obviously good to have him and he's bowling very well."

Read more on:    india  |  cwc 2015  |  mahendra singh dhoni  |  cricket

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