With India and Pakistan squaring up at the Eden Gardens in the second of the three-match One-Day International series here on Thursday at 12 noon, the early start is expected to negate the importance of winning the toss in day-night matches in India in winter.
“I am happy with the 12 noon start. The toss does not become too vital and the pitch remains same throughout. A team has to play good cricket to win unlike other matches when dew becomes crucial and, most of the time, the team batting second wins,” India captain M.S. Dhoni said here on Wednesday.
On the implementation of new ODI rules, Dhoni said: “India has played just a game. We need to play a few more and only then will we get used to it.
“The tendency is to look for big shots and that leads to a dismissal. It is important to play according to merit. We must keep wickets in hand and not think too much ahead.” As per the new rule, five fielders will have to be inside the circle throughout the innings.
To a question on the pitch which he once termed ‘ugly’, Dhoni came up with a quick reply: “It looks like Miss Universe.”
No need to react
On people asking for his removal from captaincy, an unruffled Dhoni said his job was to play and not to react to what others feel.
“You have to respect views. My job is to play cricket and I will look to improve and help the youngsters in the team. We all know the problems, but finding solutions is difficult. We are looking to improve as a team,” he said.
His Pakistani counterpart Misbah-ul-Haq felt the pitch would be a good one. On the new ODI rules, Misbah said: “I think it will be a bit difficult for the bowlers. Having just four fielders outside the circle after the Power Play is a bit tough on them.
“The bowling needs to be far more disciplined. With more fielders inside the circle, it would be difficult for batsmen to rotate the strike,” he said.
Misbah said Junaid Khan and Nasir Jamshed have done wonderfully well. “If they can carry on like this, it will be great for the future of Pakistan cricket,” he said.
Praise for Irfan
The Pakistan captain was all praise for Mohammad Irfan as the tall, lanky fast bowler had given his team the vital breakthroughs. “The Indian team always made full use of the first 10 overs. But Irfan has made life uncomfortable for the Indians,” he said.
He stressed the importance of keeping emotions in check, especially in an India-Pakistan match. “Winning and losing is not in anybody’s control. The players need to manage their emotions better on the field as anger does not help win games,” he added.