Faced with a must-win game they might be, but Indian cricket captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni today said unfit players will not be risked in the ongoing ODI tri-series keeping in mind next month’s World Cup here.
India are staring at an early exit from the tri-series against England and Australia after successive losses. Dhoni’s men have to win against Australia, already through to the final, tomorrow to stay alive in the tournament.
“In the last two matches, we were playing the best XI possible. But we were also bothered by injuries,” said Dhoni in the pre-match press conference.
“Experimentation is a word that’s banned in the Indian team’s context since a long time. We try to feature the best eleven and at the same time, we like to get a lot of positives out of the game.”
“At the same time, what’s the point looking to win games where you are pushing an individual who has quite a significant niggle. You may end up winning the game but you may end up losing him for the World Cup. You have to take a call. So close to the World Cup, there is no time for errors when it comes to actually managing the players because we want the fifteen to be part of the World Cup squad,” he added.
Rohit Sharma has been ruled out of tomorrow’s game as he is still recovering from his hamstring injury. Ishant Sharma and Ravindra Jadeja are available though the latter’s selection is still under some doubt owing to his restricted fielding ability.
“Both Ishant and Jadeja are available for selection. Whether we want to give them more time is something we will have to consider because also both of them, they have not played matches. They might be match-fit, but again, there is a bit of speculation when it comes to that,” said the Indian skipper.
When asked if there is a threat to Rohit’s World Cup participation, Dhoni replied with a firm no.
The Indian team has enjoyed a short mid-series break after playing England in Brisbane on Tuesday. They travelled here a day later and didn’t practice until Friday, taking two days on the sides off. Even on Sunday, they only had a light net-session.
“On a long tour, it is important to switch on and switch off. Breaks like these really help you do that. We made the practice session we had was to make it slightly tough and slightly more realistic.
“So you give them good breaks but at the same time, you want the sessions to be more purposeful. So that’s what the emphasis has been and that’s what we tried. So today, we will have a slightly lighter session followed by the game tomorrow,” said Dhoni.