Mumbai, Jan 11 IANS | 10 months ago

India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni said here Saturday that he would personally like to atone for his poor performance in South Africa during the forthcoming New Zealand tour.


Dhoni was out of form in the Test series and came to bat at No.7 and managed only 87 runs in four innings. He also wants the bowlers to contribute with the bat as well.

"I would like to improve my performance. I would like to do well in overseas conditions. But sometimes the field is spread and have to play shots. But want the 8,9,10 to start contributing more," said Dhoni before leaving for New Zealand where India will play five ODIs and two Tests from Jan 19.

Dhoni, however, said he had full confidence in his young batsmen who did well in South Africa. Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane all did well during the two-Test series that South Africa won 1-0.

"I am confident about this team's ability. The batsmen played really well in South Africa," Dhoni said.

He said the team's performance in the Test series against South Africa will stand in good stead in New Zealand as well.

"We have a slightly bigger challenge. We should be proud of what we have and it's important for us to tune up a bit," he said.

Dhoni was also happy that all his bowlers will be fighting for a place in the playing eleven.

"There will be more competition in bowling department. Now with everyone fit, there will be a lot of competition. When wickets are on drier side and there is not enough swing movement, we have to improve as fast bowlers. Because we don't have hit the deck bowlers," he said.

Dhoni was also happy with the return of the express-fast Varun Aaron.

"We have different types of fast bowlers. Varun (Aaron) has comeback well. But each bowler has to know their strengths. So we will have to see," he added.

Asked about spinners, Dhoni said: "We don't have five specialist bowlers. So can't have spinners who give away too many. Jadeja's performance in South Africa was good. Spinner's role on first day is to not give too much turn. When they play more outside India, they will learn the need to be patient. Till we don't get a seaming all-rounder, that's what they will have to get used to."

Dhoni said Karnataka all-rounder Stuart Binny could also be used as the third seamer in the ODIs.

"Stuart Binny is interesting. He has some swing. Most international venues wickets are flat, we will have to see if he can feature as third seamer. It depends how he does in nets," he said.

(Posted on 11-01-2014)