India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni said the team would lose 20 runs on the field if Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir played in the same eleven.
Dwelling on the best Indian eleven after the crushing 110-run defeat against Australia here on Sunday, Dhoni said, “You also want a very good fielding side. You cannot afford to score 20 runs more because your fielding is not good enough for a big ground.”
He said, “That could happen (the trio playing together) but that would affect our fielding in a big way. It's not only these three players, there are quite a few others who are also slow on the field. If you really add it up, you would have only two or three good fielders.”
The Indian fielding was below par on Sunday. Catches were put down and there were other lapses on the field. Dhoni said Tendulkar, Sehwag and Gambhir were safe fielders but were slightly on the slower side. On the big grounds down under, their fielding could become vulnerable, he felt. The Indian skipper added, “They would be exploited once the ball goes to them. “The Australians and the Sri Lankans would look for those two or three runs to put pressure on their body.
“Your throwing needs to be good, so does the ability to dive on these grounds. It could only be an extra run but the strike changes and the other batsman could hit a six or a four.”
Switching his attention to the youngsters, Dhoni said Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma and Suresh Raina had the ability but needed to justify it. Dhoni said the youngsters should be able to come through tough phases and become consistent.
Dhoni revealed that Zaheer Khan was undone by cramps. “In the last 10 overs, the bowlers felt the heat. I saw my best fast bowler (Zaheer) battling through cramps and that was the reason I bowled Zaheer through.
Upset with third umpire
The Indian captain was also upset about the third umpire pressing the wrong button to rule Michael Hussey stumped; the left-hander was called back soon by the standing umpires.
“I just told the two umpires that it's difficult to be an umpire if you are on the field. But if you are sitting in an air-conditioned room and if you have the luxury of seeing the replays, you may perhaps take an extra minute to press the right button.” He added, “He just committed a mistake, but what I would like to see, I got out in the West Indies when an entirely different ball was shown, I could have been called back.
“If they are consistent I don't have any issue.”