With his side’s Champions Trophy semifinal hopes hanging by a slender threat, India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni said he would name his squad for Wednesday’s match against West Indies depending on how the match between Pakistan and Australia progresses.
If Pakistan beat Australia at Centurion by a big margin, India will need to defeat West Indies by a huge margin to make it to the semifinals in their last Group B match which will start five hours later here.
Dhoni said he would keenly follow the Pakistan-Australia game and would decide on his playing eleven only after he has seen how the day’s game is heading.
“We would delay our team selection. It depends on how the match is progressing. If we need to strengthen our batting we would do so. If we need the bowling to get stronger, we would do that,” Dhoni said.
A lot of calculation would be on Wednesday and Dhoni expected not only his support staff, but even seniors and others to chip in with their suggestions.
“Not only the coach and the support staff, even the seniors would be needed to chip in with their advice.
“Unfortunately, not everything is in your hand. Lot of things need to happen: Pakistan to win, we to beat West Indies and net run-rate,” he said.
Dhoni is hoping that the Indian fans would be cheering for Pakistan to win against Australia.
“All of India wants its team to do well. Knowing that Pakistan’s win (against Australia) earlier in the day is so important, they all would be cheering for Pakistan,” he said.
It didn’t concern Dhoni that Pakistan, the arch-rivals, could actually be attempting to lose by giving a few of their star players a rest against Australia.
“Now that they have qualified, they could be looking to experiment with their bench strength. It depends on what they want to get out of Wednesday’s game.”
Looking at how the tournament has gone by for India, Dhoni squarely blamed his bowlers for the side’s ills.
“We batted in only one game so you can’t say the batting has let us down. But we have bowled twice and we are not bowling that well. On Monday (against Australia), the bowlers were much better, they were neither too short nor too full.
But we have to admit we didn’t bowl that well,” he said.
Personally though, Dhoni was prepared to look his team’s performance in Champions Trophy philosophically.
“Losing and winning is part and parcel of any sport. It’s enough for me that I am playing for my country and am leading the side, which not everybody gets a chance to do. That’s enough for me.
“We have done very well in the last 18-20 months. We have done well all over the world. We have the potential to do well. The boys can bounce back and on their day can give any side tough fight.”
Keywords: Champions Trophy, India, MS Dhoni, Pakistan, Australia, West Indies