“It is not just batting and bowling, we have to concentrate a lot on fielding too,” said India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni here on Saturday.

Dhoni cited the example of the Kiwis. “Fielding is very important to them. They put emphasis on it.”

Pleased with the facilities

The Indian skipper, pleased with the practice facilities, said the pitch appeared hard and dry. “It should be good for the pace bowlers. But they will have to be intelligent against the strong breeze.”

Dwelling on bowling at the death, Dhoni spoke about variety. “A bowler should have three options, the yorker outside off, the bouncer or one on the boots. He should know when to use them.”

On the return of Varun Aaron, Dhoni said, “He has come back after a back injury. Happily for us, he has not lost his speed. He is looking very good at the nets. It is always good to have a bowler with his pace in the side.”

Important series

Dhoni said the series will be important for India, keeping in mind the 2015 ICC World Cup in Australia and New Zealand. “It will be good exposure for our players.”

On the Kiwis, Dhoni said, “They are a fantastic side and well respected. They have done well in the big tournaments. They back each other and contribute in different ways. They are fantastic blokes to play against too.”

Milne to play

Brendon McCullum indicated Adam Milne would play. “It will be good to unleash some pace on the Indians. Be aggressive,” he said.

The Kiwi captain added Milne would be used judiciously in the series. “He is young and bowls real quick. His body could be under stress so we need to use him in conditions where he will be effective.”

McCullum said, “They (the Indians) have a strong batting line-up. We are starting to play some good cricket. But to win the series, we will have to play our best cricket of the summer.”

On aggressive batting, McCullum said, “We have to balance things. You cannot leave it too late. You have to be pro-active even when not attacking.”


A big challenge ahead of Team IndiaJanuary 18, 2014

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