Bowling is India’s weak link: Dhoni

Colombo: India’s loss to Pakistan in a warm-up match despite setting a daunting target of 185 has put Indian skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni in a fix. Not that the captain wasn’t aware about his bowling arsenals, which has always been India’s weak link, but the manner in which even the experienced bowlers were sent on a leather hunt by Kamran Akmal and Shoaib Malik, Dhoni has been forced to think on his strategy for the upcoming matches.

Speaking at a press conference on Tuesday, Dhoni admitted about India’s bowling and said that though India preferred to play with seven batsmen at the start of the tournament, they were flexible to opt for an extra bowler as they have part-timers to do the job. “If you compare our batting to our bowling, we find the bowling is slightly weaker, but still we have got experienced bowlers who can do the needful. We are looking to play seven batsmen to start off the tournament. It means the part-timers will have to do a really good job so that we can sustain with those seven batsmen. If we still find our bowling a bit weak, (then) we will have to go with six batters and five bowlers.”

Happy with the batting performance in the last two warm-up games, Dhoni said the batting looked good as of now. “We are going good. We won one and lost one in warm-up games, but overall, it gave some exposure to some of our bowlers as to what needs to be done. At the same time, we don’t rate any side lightly, be it Afghanistan or any other side,” said Dhoni.

Speaking about Yuvraj Singh’s comeback and Rohit Sharma’s form, Dhoni said he was quite happy with that. “It’s all about putting up a fight. Yuvraj looks fit, especially for this short format. He is not 100% fit for Test cricket right now but he is fully fit for this format. We are hoping he will come good. Rohit is someone who can get a lot more scores. I felt that in the last two practice games, he gave himself a bit of time and then played the big shots. We all know once he gets in and is set, he can play all around the park,” Dhoni said.

Meanwhile Afghanistan captain Nawroz Mangal said his team was confident about its face-off against India. “We have trained well and the exposure in this tournament is part of our learning process. We have batted well against spinners like Saeed Ajmal and Sunil Narine and we have done our homework on R. Ashwin too,” Mangal said and added that injured seamer Hamid Hassan would miss Wednesday’s match.