MS Dhoni, the India captain, has said the dew in Visakhapatnam during the second ODI created “unfair” conditions for them while bowling and fielding. Dhoni said he did not expect so much dew right from the beginning of the match, in which West Indies chased 289 in the last over with two wickets to spare to level the three-match series 1-1.
“I think it was a bit unfair. It becomes a bit unfair when in this time of the year you play with so much of dew with two or three spinners,” Dhoni said. “But that’s part and parcel of the game. It was tough to field with the amount of dew. We saw a few of the fielders throwing the ball to the wicketkeeper and it went to the short third man areas. That’s something tough.”
At the time of the toss, which West Indies won to put India in to bat, Dhoni had said he would have opted to chase as well because they had been doing that well and because of the dew factor.
“It was a very bad toss to lose,” Dhoni said. “At this time of the year, we never expected the dew to fall so early. Right from the first over itself there was plenty of dew. The outfield was completely wet. There was no real swing for the fast bowlers. I don’t think [there was] much for the spinners, there was a glimpse of turn when the ball was changed.”
When asked about Yuvraj Singh’s form, Dhoni backed the middle-order batsman to fire after his recent run of below-par scores.
“He is someone who can bat well at No. 4, someone who can really dominate the opposition,” Dhoni said. “Last few games, he has struggled a bit. At times it happens when you’re under pressure, the first 15-20 deliveries become crucial. If you’re not able to pass that phase, you have to be considerate about it. Once he gets a few runs, you’ll see a different Yuvraj Singh.”
Yuvraj’s scores in the this series read 28 and an unbeaten 16, and in the seven-match ODI series against Australia, in which over 3500 runs were scored in 11 innings, he managed 19 runs from four innings with a highest score of 12.
“Apart from the talent he has, he’s someone who does really well once he’s confident and dominates a tournament or series by series,” Dhoni said. “He makes sure the team wins a tournament.”
Dhoni also said Yuvraj needs to be given more time to get comfortable with the No. 4 slot in the line-up. Suresh Raina had been India’s No. 4 in the ODI series against Australia after Ambati Rayudu was tried at the same position against Zimbabwe, and Dinesh Karthik had batted at No. 4 in most of the games in the tri-series in the West Indies and in the Champions Trophy in England.
“Yuvi is under a bit of pressure,” Dhoni said. “We wanted Yuvi to be comfortable at his slot. He has batted well at No. 4. Give him a series. Raina has also done well at 5. We are just looking at options. We don’t really have any options. I still stand by it. But at the same time, we need to see if we can take some pressure off Yuvi.”
Dhoni also backed the bowlers, who were unable to defend 289, and said they did a “fantastic job” to take the match into the final overs and only the spinners, R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja, conceded less than six runs per over.
“The bowlers did a fantastic job to take the game to the last over,” Dhoni said. “Overall I’m very happy with the performance. It was tough for them. But I was happy with the way they bowled as a unit. If you see the whole of 2013, they have done well.”
The final match of the series will be played in Kanpur and since it is a day game, it’s unlikely the dew will be a factor.