MS Dhoni © Getty Images
MS Dhoni (above) knows the strengths and weaknesses of his bowlers, feels TA Sekhar© Getty Images

New Delhi: Nov 6, 2014

Delhi Daredevils manager and former India pacer TA Sekhar said on Thursday that guidance of skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni will be crucial in determining the performance of the young Indian pace attack on the forthcoming tour of Australia in December and the subsequent ICC World Cup 2015.

“We have an excellent captain in Dhoni. He knows precisely what a bowler can deliver. He judges the bowler in what stage of the game he can bowl. He knows the limitations of his bowlers and when to use them during a match,” Sekhar, a renowned fast bowling coach, said on the sidelines of a programme organised by Delhi Daredevils.

He praised Dhoni’s ability to judge a bowler’s competence and utilise him judiciously, keeping in mind his strengths and weaknesses. “Dhoni’s intelligence is a great advantage India have over other teams and the young bowlers are benefiting from it. He gives a lot of confidence to the bowlers and allows them to bowl at a time when they are comfortable,” the 58-year-old coach added.

“Under Dhoni, the young team will bowl well. We have a good variety in the pace department with swing bowler Bhuvneshwar Kumar, seamer Mohammed Shami and two quicks — Umesh Yadav and Varun Aaron. I think the bowlers are doing well. It is a young bowling attack, so it needs time to settle down.” He, however, said that the pacers should focus more on improving their bowling towards the end of an innings, having given away runs aplenty.

“Dennis Lillee used to say you have to create match simulation in nets, else you won’t feel the pulse of a match situation and bowl accordingly. In nets you need to polish your yorkers and slower deliveries and work on adding new variations to your armoury, like slower bouncers and back-of-the-hand slower balls,” the former India pacer said.

The bowling coach advised the pacers to focus on identifying the right length for the bouncy Australian pitches, keeping in mind the World Cup in February 2015. “Bowling line and length in Australia is totally different than in India. The bounce varies a lot. You can’t bowl much short in Australian wickets as they are very good pullers and hookers. In previous tours Indian bowlers have been guilty of bowling either too short or too full. Finding that perfect length is very crucial,” he said. Sekhar stressed that spinners will also play a crucial role at the quadrennial cricket competition even though “there won’t be much in turn in the pitches there”.