The word 'experiment' banned from Indian cricket since 2007: MS Dhoni
Indian limited-overs cricket captain MS Dhoni has said that the team would try to balance things out between winning the ongoing Carlton Mid ODI Tri-Series involving Australia and England and zeroing in on their final World Cup XI. India will be facing the hosts Australia, in their first match of the triangular series, at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) on January 18.
Australia opened their campaign with a 3-wicket win over England, which also earned them a bonus point, at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) yesterday.
Players will be given time to regain full fitness
With only 28 days to go for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015, the defending champions India have quite a few questions to answer: opening combination, No. 4 slot and bowling combination being the most important of them. Dhoni, however, hinted at the possibility of settling with the tried and tested combination, which would mean Rohit Sharma will open and Ajinkya Rahane will return back to the No. 4 slot, despite the improved showings after being promoted to the opening slot.
He said: "Since 2007, the word experiment has been banned from India cricket (in reference to Greg Chappell’s days as the Indian coach where too much chopping and changing led to a period of unrest in the Indian dressing room, with seniors being disappointed). What we do is try out different things. We will in this tournament also.”
He added: “I think - we have four games at least and five if we make the final - what's most important for us is of course to get the combination right but at the same time what we won't do in this tournament is push people who have a few niggles that can transform into major injuries. We will give them that extra time if needed. Because what's important for all of us is to be at least 80 to 90% fit going into the games. We will manage the workload accordingly."
All 17 members will be considered for selection
When asked about the idea behind having two extra pacers, Dhawal Kulkarni and Mohit Sharma, in the squad for the tri-series as compared to their 15-man World Cup squad, the 33-year-old said that they are there to ensure that the other bowlers, some of whom are carrying minor niggles, get their deserved rest ahead of the hectic schedule.
He added: "At the same time, we have to play with the 15 who are part of the World Cup squad. If we feel it's important we can give some extra time to a few of the individuals. Then they will also be considered for selection. But as of now, we will look to pick from the 15. But you can say for the tri-series as of now we are a 17-member squad.”
Ishant Sharma and Ravindra Jadeja are racing against time to be fit for the marquee tournament, and Dhoni said that Mohit and Kulkarni will be in line to replace them in the World Cup should any of the duo be ruled out.