Guess who has got a lifeline of ensuring a secured place in the World Cup squad by playing just two matches of the tri-series. Yes, once the most criticized individual up till a few days back, it is Stuart Binny. His 44 off 55 balls timely performance at Brisbane, followed by 3/33 in Perth today has entitled him a chance to showcase his talent in the prestigious World Cup.   

When asked about the possibilities of Binny playing in the World Cup, Dhoni said “I think so, yes. With Bhuvi (Bhuvneshwar Kumar) struggling a bit, it just puts that added pressure on the bowling line-up. Frankly, we can’t afford to play with three fast bowlers and two spinners because our batting becomes just too light. If you lose the toss and you are batting on a surface that assists the fast bowlers, if you lose a couple of wickets, then you are just doing the catching up job. If you see the good sides, they bat quite deep”

Emphasizing on the need of the lower order’s contribution with the bat, Dhoni said “Even with the kind of batsmen that we have, we know they can bat but how they can bat at the first-class level is not how they will bat at the international level. That’s why we gave (Ravindra) Jadeja ample time and now slowly he has graduated to that level where he can do that job to some extent.”

He added: “Axar (Patel) can bat but with more exposure and more matches, he will get better because international cricket is very different compared to the first-class level that we play. We need to get our batting strong. The lower-order contribution is something that is a key factor. We can’t really have four to five batsmen in the lower order that will get out quickly because you want to make the most of the 50 overs.”

On the injury of Ishant Sharma, Dhoni also revealed that the team management had no idea that it (Ishant getting injured again) was coming, but they had no choice once they learnt about it. He said “You know he bowled in the nets yesterday, and after that he had a sore knee. Before that also, he was bowling but he was fine; by the time we came for the press conference, there was no niggle as such. This came to our notice by evening. The reason we didn’t want to push him is because the niggle may turn into an injury. According to the physio, he may be fit in the next four days.”

On opening batsman Shikhar Dhawan’s good show with a 65-ball 38 on a deck that assisted the pacers considerably, Dhoni said: “It’s good that he has got runs. If he had not got any kind of runs in this game, certainly he would have gone into the break putting a bit more pressure on himself.“Now with this game, he will certainly take a lot of positives out of it because there was a bit of assistance for the fast bowlers, it was not an easy wicket to bat on initially. I felt he did good. The next step will be to capitalise on the kind of start he got. It will be for most of us to capitalise on starts, have wickets in hand and look to exploit.”


    Established sports writer across various global platforms

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