Dhoni wants spinner-friendly pitches for ODI series

Kolkata: Having been comprehensively outplayed by South Africa in the T20 internationals series, India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni on Thursday said that he would not prefer a lot of grass cover for the upcoming five match ODI series against the Proteas.
Asked at the post-match presentation ceremony as to what kind of pitches he would prefer during ODIs, Dhoni said: “We would like to play the surface that is provided to us. But at the same time, we want to make the most of the home series. Don’t want a lot of grass cover. It is also difficult for the spinners with dew as well.”
Dhoni expects ODI series to be a good one. “The ODIs will be good, but again a lot will depend on the kind of venues and the toss as well. Kanpur being one of them. Dew is always a factor, once you play after September.”
The skipper said that they were planning a few changes in the side for the third T20I. “We wanted to make a few changes in the side. We wanted to change the batting order. It’s sad that we were not able to play. This is one venue where you really want to play. Don’t want to come here and then not play a game.”Three changes, we were planning to make — Jinks (Ajinkya Rahane) was supposed to open, (Suresh) Raina to bat at No. 3 and (Amit) Mishra and (Stuart) Binny would have played. We wanted to see what really would have been best for us,” he said.
Having played at Eden Gardens a lot, Dhoni said he knew instantly that it would be difficult to start the game after an evening shower.”I played here a lot to know that outfield wouldn’t change a lot. There was no sun. The rain was a lot too, even if it was only an hour,” he said.
South Africa Twenty20 captain Faf du Plesis said the series win will give the visitors a lot of confidence going into the rest of the tour.”Disappointing, the rain played a huge role today. The players safety is quite important on such a long tour. I think its really important to acknowledge how hard it is to come to India and win a series,” Du Plesis said.
“We will take a lot of confidence going into the ODIs. Saying that India will be fresh, they would want to set the record straight. We need to be wary.”
Du Plesis said it is a blessing in disguise for South Africa to have three different leaders for three different formats.
“We are very fortunate to have great leaders in our team. Myself, Hashim and AB (de Villers) work really well together. We rely heavily on each other,” he said.
Du Plesis also pinpointed a few of South Africa’s star performers in ther just-concluded Twenty20 series. —PTI

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