Auckland, Feb 5 IANS | 10 months ago

India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni Wednesday said his fast bowlers have to be ready to bowl long spells if needed during the two-match Test series against New Zealand that starts here Thursday.

Dhoni, who blamed the bowlers for India's 0-4 loss in the ODIs, asked his pacers to show the same kind of intensity they had showed during the Test series in South Africa.

"In South Africa, I felt they did a very good job. Even when we bowled too many overs, when they came for the last spell, they were still putting in a lot of effort. That is what is important. You don't want to give away easy runs. Let the opposition score off good shots. It was a good performance from them, depending on the scenario," he said.

Dhoni said on New Zealand tracks, that offer little help to the spinners, they fast bowlers may have to go for long spells.

"The good thing was, their approach was really fantastic (in South Africa). What we have done as a team is, I like to give them short spells so that they are fresh thinking about the third or the fourth spell, if needed. Use them in short bursts. But if the situation demands, they will have to go for long spells. With (Ravindra) Jadeja, he can hold one side, he can bowl long spells, of course, that depends on how well he is bowling," he said.

Dhoni said Indians pacers have to be patient and that is where veteran Zaheer Khan's experience will come handy.

"It is about bringing up new plans, and helping the youngsters to execute those plans. In the subcontinent, at times the only thing fast bowlers look for is wickets. They want to get wickets in each and every spell. Sometimes they only have two or three spells in the whole day.

"But over here the scenario changes. They have to bowl more overs, they have to keep coming back for second spell, third spell. Sometimes if you are bowling well, maybe even a fourth spell on the same day, which means you have to be a bit more patient. Bowl one line and length. Try to build on the pressure. It will be a real help to the fast bowlers as he (Zaheer) is someone who has played a lot outside the subcontinent. It is always good to have an experienced bowler in the side," he said.

Dhoni said having Jadeja as the lone spinner in the side will also give the pacers some rest since the spinner can bowl long spell and hold up one end.

"In the Test format, what we have seen is he is definitely someone who can keep it tight," Dhoni said. "He gives the liberty to our fast bowlers to attack a bit more. Jadeja can keep one end closed, and not give too many runs so that we can build some pressure and the fast bowlers can attack from the other side."

(Posted on 05-02-2014)

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