If Yuvraj does not play, Virat will come in: Dhoni

Updated: 14 December 2009 08:42 IST

Virat Kohli may replace Yuvraj Singh in the first ODI against Sri Lanka if the left-hander fails to recover from his finger injury, according to MS Dhoni.

If Yuvraj does not play, Virat will come in: Dhoni

Virat Kohli may replace Yuvraj Singh in Tuesday's one-day series-opener against Sri Lanka if the left-hander fails to recover from his finger injury, according to Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni.

The Indian team management is playing a waiting game and will decide only on Tuesday morning if Yuvraj, who has suffered a finger injury, can be drafted into the final XI.

"He's been injected. We will see how exactly he feels tomorrow before the game and go according to that. He's part of the series and part of the side. If Yuvi is not playing there is a very good chance Virat Kohli will play," the Indian captain said on Monday.

India are coming into the series after becoming number one side in Test cricket and have lost just one T20 match against Sri Lanka so far in the tour but Dhoni said overconfidence is the last thing his teammates needed.

"We want to win the series. At the same time not being overconfident is also important. We have to be in that phase of mind where you are very confident but at the same time not to cross that line. So we are taking care of the things we need to do including fielding and death bowling," he said.

Dhoni also wanted the youngsters in the team to show the way for others in the fielding, an area which is a big cause of concern for the hosts.

"Fielding is a bit of concern. It's been around for quite some time now. We are hoping it does not come into play in the one-day series", he said.

"There are a few youngsters who have come into the side. The responsibility will be on them to show off how good they are as a fielder. Once you have at least four good fielders, you can stop the batsmen from getting those singles," Dhoni said.

Dhoni said induction of fielding consultant Mike Young is a good step forward but improvement can not happen overnight.

"Since Mike has joined us we are laying emphasis on fielding as well. He also needs a few specific sessions as coach. It's a very important aspect of any format of the game. But if you can see the impact (of Young joining) in three days, that will be great."

He also expressed apprehensions about the ability of the bowlers to deliver the goods in the slog overs.

"We need to improve our death bowling. Variation is important, but at the same time you have to bowl good yorkers. That's the key. Whoever is a good death bowler has to have yorkers. We are improving and have done well in patches. But to be a very good side we need to be consistent, especially in the last 8-10 overs," said the wicket-keeper batsman who needs two more victims to complete the 200 dismissals.

Dhoni also welcomed the return of Zaheer Khan and Harbhajan Singh, who were rested for the two T20s, saying he expects a good show from both of the them.

"They are the most experienced bowlers we have got, Zaheer in fast bowling department and Harbhajan as a spinner. It's very important to get early breakthroughs with the new ball.

"At the same time it's important to put pressure during the middle overs, from 15th or 20th to 40th, not to give easy singles and attack with your best spinner and look to get wickets," he said.

Dhoni felt the best way to stop Lanka marauder Sanath Jayasuriya from going hammer and tongs would be to dry up runs for the left-hander with sharp fielding on the boundary lines.

"Whenever he's played a long innings and batted through that period - the middle overs - he emphasizes more on running between the wickets. The key is not to give him easy singles and doubles.

"The players on the boundaries need to cut those doubles because usually he does not go after the bowlers that much as when he opens the innings. He goes to build on the innings and gets after the bowlers only at the end. The key will be to stop those easy runs coming to him."

Muttiah Muralitharan has not made any impact so far in the tour but Dhoni dismissed suggestions that the off-spinner was a spent force.

"It's not about what has happened in the (Test) series. He's still a great bowler and can have an impact on the game at any time in the series. It has nothing to do with what has happened till now," he said.

Topics : Cricket Sreesanth
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