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We will bat a bit more: Dhoni
Harish Kotian in Kolkata | December 03, 2007 19:26 IST
Vice-captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni [Images] on Monday said India will bat for a few overs on the fifth day in the second Test to set Pakistan a daunting total.
"We'll bat a bit more tomorrow. Can't say exactly how many runs we need. It's not just a matter of runs. It depends on time as well," Dhoni said in Kolkata.
India are currently in the driver's seat, having scored 141 for 2 at stumps, for an overall lead of 301 runs. But Anil Kumble [Images] and his boys are looking at the safety-first approach.
"It's not about the total. To win this match you need ten wickets. So the score is not that relevant. But to be on the safer side, on a wicket like this, you would love to have fielders surrounding the bat. To have those extra couple of fielders close-in you need to have those extra runs. Then you can really attack and challenge the batsmen to play some shots on a fifth day wicket. That's the motive for batting a bit more tomorrow," the Indian wicketkeeper said.
Dhoni said the Indian spinning duo of Harbhajan Singh [Images] and Anil Kumble hold the key on a roughed-up day five wicket conducive for slow bowlers.
"Frankly speaking, we need only 10 balls to win the match now. So in a way five hours is too much time. We have to beat them in flight or with turn and bounce," he said.
The Indian ODI captain refused to blame the pitch, saying, "This is a normal Indian wicket. It's just a bit on the flatter side and the lower side. It's not breaking up; its powder right now. If they bowl in the right areas it's tough for batsmen. Wicket to wicket it's not scuffed up, so the spinners will definitely have to use the rough. "
"The wicket is responding a bit to spin. On the fourth and fifth days the game changes very quickly in India. It's possible that many wickets fall in a hurry and at times you don't get a single wicket in a whole session. It's uncertain," Dhoni added.
India failed to get going in the final session on day four as Dhoni and Sourav Ganguly [Images] finished unbeaten on sedate knocks of 28 and 24. The duo tried to step up the scoring during their 46-run stand but could not, before bad light ended play early.
"When they're bowling in the rough you never know how much it's going to turn or bounce and when the field is set defensively it's tough to score quickly. The ball was also soft. It's hard to go out there and look for sixes or fours," Dhoni said.
"The spin is not really quick but if you can bowl in the rough it is turning and the bounce is not consistent. Some balls are turning more, some are turning less, to that's a plus for us," he added.