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Dhoni throws his weight behind Yuvraj

Last updated on: November 18, 2011 09:24 IST

Dhoni throws his weight behind Yuvraj

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India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni threw his weight behind out-of-form team-mate Yuvraj Singh, saying the middle-order batsman needs support as he is going through a difficult phase of his career.

- Scorecard

Yuvraj, who made a comeback in the ongoing Test series, failed again in the second Test against the West Indies with a reckless innings of 25 as India notched a mammoth 631 for seven in their first innings.

He scored 23 and 18 in the first Test in New Delhi.

Dhoni said Yuvraj, who was replaced by Rohit Sharma in the squad for the third Test against the West Indies in Mumbai, needs runs under his belt and at this time of crisis it's important to show confidence in him.

"Yes, he's going through a tough phase but it's important to show confidence in him. We all know he is talented. He has played really well against all the big bowlers, especially in the ODI format, which means he has talent to do well in Test format as well," Dhoni said.

"One reason is that he has been in and out of the side. It's very difficult to back yourself. You have that bit of tentativeness. It's a bit tough on him. But, hopefully, he will recover and do well for India," he said.


Image: Yuvraj Singh

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'We have to use Umesh in best manner'

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Dhoni praised the new-look young Indian bowling attack and said it's important that the pacers do not pick injury.

"I think the whole bowling unit looks very balanced. The fast bowlers look very fresh which means they can bowl a lot of overs that is needed in a Test. The spinners also bowling in the same way."

"I am quite happy with their performance. Umesh Yadav again is someone who can bowl really quick. But we will have to use him in best possible manner so that we don't overuse him and he gets injured," said Dhoni.

"We have a pool fast bowlers who can bowl quick. But it's important to sustain at top-level. It's not always about bowling fast. You have to bowl in right areas with the kind of pressure," he said.


Image: Umesh Yadav (right)

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'The spinners are fresh and raring to go'

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On the spin department, Dhoni said, "Ojha has been playing a couple of formats. Even in the Tests, he is in and out of playing eleven and Ashwin is new to the longer version; that means all of them are fairly fresh and raring to go and a bit more energy on the field. They back themselves which is very important in Tests."

He, however, said it is not the right time to experiment even though India has taken an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match Test series.

"It's too soon right now. We will see what needs to be done. We don't want to overuse the bowlers also. We will think and do what's best for the side. Let's see everything goes well," he said.

"It's not about experimentation. We will see what best possible eleven we will have and accordingly we will decide," he added.


Image: Pragyan Ojha

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'Glad to be on the winning side'

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Dhoni also showered praise on his batsmen, saying they did an excellent job in the match after failure in the first innings of the Delhi Test.

"Our batting did not do outstandingly well in the first innings in Delhi. But after that we have shown improvements in the second innings ahead of this Test. We have covered the areas really well. Our fielding has been decent," he said.

"England was a bad tour for us. There were several reasons why we did not do well there. It is always good to be on the winning side. It's the process that's more important than the results. Glad to be on the winning side," he added.

After their disastrous England tour, where they were blanked in the Test, ODI and the odd Twenty20, India returned to inflict a 5-0 whitewash on the same opponents at home.


Image: MS Dhoni

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'We are expecting a tough third Test'

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Asked if he is hopeful of a series whitewash, Dhoni said, "We will try our best. It's difficult to predict in cricket. We will have to see what kind of wicket we get there (in Mumbai)."

Praising the West Indies batting in the second essay, he said, "West Indies are a good side. Their bowling line is quite good. It's not that they can't bat. As you have seen in the second innings they are talented batsmen.

"We are expecting a tough third Test. We have shown some improvements in this Test than we did in the first Test. Hopefully, we will go on improving. We are not thinking on results. We will try to do well on the field."

Dhoni said he will not rest in the third and final Test, beginning in Mumbai on November 22.

Asked whether he is looking to give himself some rest ahead of the important Australia series, beginning next month, Dhoni said: "I won't take rest for the next game, that's for sure. Let's see after that."



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