MS Dhoni has been able to attack because his bowlers have stood up and performed: Rahul Dravid
India’s World Cup defence has begun on a fantastic note with the team having won all of the 5 group games that they have played so far. While the batsmen seem to have regained the glorious form that was on view during the four-match Test series against Australia, the bowlers have turned over a completely new leaf and put in creditable performances in all the matches.
However, apart from the batsmen and the bowlers, another aspect that has played a crucial role in the Men in Blue’s winning run has been the way Mahendra Singh Dhoni has led the team. Talking about the 33-year-old’s captaincy in the tournament, former India skipper Rahul Dravid has said that the Ranchi-born cricketer has been able to attack in the competition so far because he has some very efficient bowlers at his disposal who have risen up to the occasion.
"In India, in Test matches he is attacking, he is pro-active because he has the spinners who can take wickets in these kinds of conditions.
“That's what happens in one-day cricket, if his bowlers are bowling well, he knows he has the resources, he is able to play five bowlers which in itself is a great advantage. He has three seamers who are bowling well, pitching the ball up which gives him attacking options and then he has two spinners to fall back on,” Dravid told ESPN Cricinfo.
The three quicks have stood up and performed: Dravid
The 42-year-old also lavished praise on the way the Indian bowlers have stepped up and performed, especially after their most experienced seamer Ishant Sharma was ruled out prior to the start of the mega event.
"Ishant Sharma was supposed to be in this team, he had to leave because of injury, he was India's most experienced bowler. Bhuvneshwar has been out of form, but the three guys who have played have been exceptional. Credit to Mohit Sharma, he has come in and been a vital cog in that team, been able to control those middle overs and be able to bowl in the death, which has been a problem for India,” the former batsman said.
"The strategy is very good, they've realised in Australia there's more value in bowling back of a length, hitting the deck, especially as the ball hasn't swung much in Australia, surprisingly in this tournament," he added.
Ashwin has looked a lot more confident bowler in this World Cup: Dravid
The Rajasthan Royals mentor also complimented Ravichandran Ashwin for his performances so far, saying that the 28-year-old seems to have regained the confidence that helped him take the truckload of wickets that he took, when he first burst onto the scene.
"When he started playing international cricket, you could sense the level of confidence, he believed he was there to take wickets, he believed he could control the game, he could get a breakthrough when his captain demanded it of him.
“At times, over the last year or so he became a defensive kind of bowler. He lost a bit of confidence in his ability maybe, but it's all come back. He's trusted himself to take more risks, he's bowled really good lines, he's bowled slower through the air, he's got the ball to turn. Once your spinner sees it coming out of the hand, turning and bouncing that makes him a different bowler. Once he's seen that ball leave his hand beautifully, the revolutions are there, there's good control."