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6:10 am - Monday March 27, 2017

Can’t blame Fletcher; utmost responsibility lies with players: MSD

Agencies, New Delhi
3rd ODITeam India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni today backed under-fire coach Duncan Fletcher, saying the utmost responsibility for performance lies with the players.

Fletcher’s role in the team has come under heavy criticism from various quarters following India’s prolonged poor run of form in all formats of the game. Dhoni was asked about the role played by Fletcher as India have lost one series after another. ‘It’s time that players take the responsibility. Coaches are there to guide us. If the player has problem in technique, coach can suggest. Coach cannot go to ground. It will be wrong to blame the coach. The utmost responsibility lies with the players at the end of the day,’ Dhoni said at the pre-match press conference ahead of tomorrow’s third and final one-dayer against Pakistan at the Feroze Shah Kotla ground here.

Asked if India needs a foreign coach, Dhoni jokingly said, ‘I don’t know. Desi aur videshi. Desi aur videshi to bas murge hote hain (Indian or foreign is meant for chicken only).’ Dhoni evaded a direct answer when asked if some new players, such as Ajinya Rahane, will be given a chance to play tomorrow since India have already lost the three-match ODI series.

‘We have given chance to Bhuvaneshwar Kumar. We all know he is a good swing bowler. But we have not decided on the playing XI. Jinks (Ajinkya) has been doing well. We will feature the best side,’ he said. Dhoni also threw his weight behind his under-fire colleagues, saying the team was not lacking in talent.
‘When you lose, you feel bad. When we bat well, we don’t bowl well, if we bowl well, we don’t bat well. We have talent but we have to perform together,’ he said.

Dhoni doubtful for 3rd ODI due to sore back

New Delhi: Team India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni is a doubtful starter for tomorrow’s third and final ODI against Pakistan due to a sore back, forcing the team management to call up Dinesh Karthik as the back up keeper.

Dhoni, who was actually asked about the absence of middle-order batter Yuvraj Singh at the training session said, ‘If at all somebody is doubtful, it’s me. I have a sore back and we have called Dinesh Karthik as back up. ‘Since it was an optional practice session, Yuvraj did not come,’ he said.

Asked, who will lead the side if he does not recover in time, Dhoni said, ‘Let’s hope that I play. We’ll see tomorrow.’ With India facing a white-wash in the hands of arch-rivals Pakistan, Dhoni’s absence in tomorrow’s match could be a huge blow for the beleagured Indian batting line-up as the keeper-batsman has been India’s top scorer in the series with a 113 not out in the first match in Chennai and an unbeaten 54 in the second in Kolkata.

Dhoni, however negated suggestions that his absence would be a setback for Indian batting, which has been struggling to put up decent scores against Pakistan in the first two matches.
‘Nobody is irreplaceable. I am sure if Dinesh plays tomorrow, he will bat as good as I batted in the last two games,’ he said.

Posted in: Sports

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