Colombo, India is likely to play five specialist bowlers in their opening Super Eight tie against Australia here on Friday evening.
Addressing a press conference here, Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni said the final combination will depend on the pitch and ground conditions, and added that dropping either Virender Sehwag or Yuvraj Singh from the playing eleven to accommodate the fifth bowler will be one of the toughest decisions he has ever taken.
“We would most likely go in with five bowlers, but I still don”t know what will be the combination. It will be a fresh wicket, and we have to take into consideration how it will be before the start of the match,” Dhoni told reporters here.
“It is one of the toughest decisions I have taken so far. We will have to see what fits the combinations. Just wait and watch. Ultimately, the decision we take has to be a good one that benefits the team,” he added.
When asked about India’s strategy to counter Australian opening duo of Shane Watson and David Warner, the skipper said, “We would like to bowl to our strengths. We are looking to play with five bowlers, and a bit of variety that may be used in first six overs.”
Emphasizing on the need to have a good opening pair, Dhoni said: “Most of the sides have got aggressive openers. It is important to have a good start. In the subcontinent, initially the ball comes on to the bat nicely. The game changes in overs 8-12; the wicket slows down. The top four batsmen need to take advantage of early overs.”
On being asked to comment on Australia’s pre-match talk of greeting India with ‘chin-music,’ the inaugural T20 World Cup winning captain said, “Let them speak, we are working on the required areas.”
Dhoni looked to downplay doubts regarding India’s ability to cope with short-pitched bowling, saying India’s problem with the short ball is no different from that of other teams.
“The side has not really changed for awhile now. Players have got more exposure. Short ball is as much a trouble to us as any other batsmen who gets out on it. It is no different. It depends how quick your bowlers are,” he added.
India plays Australia at R Premadasa Stadium here on Friday to kickstart their campaign in the crucial Super Eights stage.