India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni believes in giving his cricketers long rope and even after sealing a quarterfinal berth is averse to changes in playing XI for their next Cricket World Cup match against Zimbabwe on Saturday unless there is some serious injury to any player.
If one goes by Dhoni’s philosophy on chopping and changing, it seems that Ambati Rayudu, Axar Patel, Stuart Binny and Bhuvneshwar Kumar will find it difficult to break into the winning team.
Bhuvneshwar, though played a match in Mohammed Shami’s absence but he certainly is a notch below the trio of Umesh Yadav, Shami and Mohit Sharma.
Even Dhoni made it clear that he is not in a mood to rest one of the regulars and try out one from the bench.
“Bench strength will warm the bench,” he had put it bluntly after their match against West Indies in Perth.
In Hamilton, after the Ireland game, the Indian skipper explained in detail as to why he is not a big advocate of experimenting with playing XI even in an inconsequential game.
Asked, if there’s a temptation to rest players, Dhoni said: “We need the physio’s input in this matter. If the physio feels any player is in danger of breaking down, we will rest him in that situation. Otherwise, if everyone is fit and available for selection, we’ll field the best XI. Because there are already long breaks between matches—that much rest should be adequate. If there is no risk of injury, we will then continue to field our best eleven.”
While the pitch at Seddon Park in Hamilton was a flat deck, Dhoni expects the Eden Park wicket to have good bounce and carry.
“You have to adapt on every wicket. Because how quickly you adapt to conditions is also a factor in success. But I don’t think we’ll get a similar wicket in any of our upcoming matches. We’ve played here previously and noticed that the wicket in Hamilton is different from those in other venues.
“Other venues in New Zealand are similar to Australian pitches. They almost have the same pace and bounce. The outfields are a little smaller here. Other than that there is no great difference. So in the upcoming matches, we’ll get similar conditions. You can say this was a one-off match.”