Manchester: India’s bowling coach Bharat Arun feels there is nothing to worry about Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s slow batting rate as the former India captain played according to the situation in India’s World Cup clash against Afghanistan on Saturday.
“I think he (Dhoni) played according to the situation. The condition of the wicket was such, and we were able to successfully defend the total we put up. Had we lost a wicket at that stage (when Dhoni and Kedar Jadhav were batting), things would have turned out differently. So I don’t think it’s too much of a concern for us right now,” Arun said on the eve of India’s match against the West Indies.
Dhoni crawled to 28 off 52 balls against Afghanistan as India managed 224/8. In the end, Mohammed Shami and Jasprit Bumrah helped them edge past the lowest placed team in the competition by 11 runs.
At the other end, skipper Virat Kohli scored 67 off 63 balls at a strike rate of above 100.
“I think Virat Kohli is probably the number one batsman across all formats. So to compare anybody to the way he plays is not right,” Arun said.
The highly-skilled Indian pace battery led by Bumrah will be up against some big hitters in the Windies team such as Chris Gayle, Nicholas Pooran and Shimron Hetmyer, among others, but Arun sounded confident that his charges will deliver.
“They do have their strengths. And it’s a big challenge for the bowlers too, especially when they come after you. But whenever batsmen come after you, if you’re willing to look at it deeply, there is a chance in it for the bowlers. I think that’s what our bowlers would be looking to do,” he said.
Arun was also asked whether the team management had a word with Dhoni regarding his strike rate.
“There is constant dialogue between all the batsmen, the support staff, the batting coach and the head coach (Ravi Shastri). I can’t really get into the details of what we discuss, but there is constant dialogue for us to improve,” said Arun.
Defending India’s performance against Afghanistan, Arun said: “If you look at our first three games, we put up some really big scores. Against Afghanistan, the wicket was a little sticky; it was tricky to bat under those circumstances. But I think it’s a question of adapting to the conditions.”