Captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni feels that the players have to take up responsibility and perform well to stop the downslide of the Indian team.

On the eve of the third and final One-Day International against Pakistan at the Ferozeshah Kotla here, Dhoni said there was no point finding fault with coach Duncan Fletcher.

Responding to a question whether India needed a “videshi (foreign)” coach at all, Dhoni said sarcastically, “I don’t know. Desi aur videshi to bas murge hote hain (Only chickens are known as Indian or foreign).”

“It is time the players take the responsibility. Coaches are there to guide us. If a player has problems in technique, the coach can suggest. The coach cannot go to the ground. It will be wrong to blame the coach.”

Dhoni said the best way to get rid of a lean patch was to go out and perform well. “We are not batting well. When we are batting well, we are not bowling well. As a team, we have to play well in all departments. We have the talent to score runs.”

On the inconsequential third one-dayer at the Kotla on Sunday, Dhoni said the best XI would take the field on Sunday. “We have already lost the series. We are looking forward to the next series… We will back our strengths.”

Even though Dhoni was non-committal about the final XI, he made a special mention about promising swing bowler Bhuvneshwar Kumar and prolific opening batsman Ajinkya Rahane.

The intense cold in the capital city reminded Dhoni of two other occasions (in Ireland in 2007 and in South Africa in 2009 IPL). “The players have to adapt quickly to these conditions.”

If Pakistan wins the third ODI, this will be the first occasion when a team sweeps an India-Pakistan series. Pakistan skipper Misbah-ul-Haq said his side would continue to play with the same intensity.

“We will go with full strength and try to win,” said Misbah.

The Pakistan skipper said the team’s rigorous preparations at Lahore under the supervision of former captain Inzamam-ul-Haq helped the side tame India in its backyard.

“Our team has been good in all three departments of the game. However, our fast bowling has been the key for us,” he said.

Misbah, who liked the pitch at the Kotla, said toss would not influence the course of the match and the team playing better would win.


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