Dhoni slots ‘finishing’ as hardest cricketing role

first_img(ESPNCricinfo) – Ahead of India’s home ODIs against New Zealand, captain MS Dhoni has said it is difficult to find players to slot into a finisher’s role. The nature of cricket in the subcontinent, he said, meant lower-order batsmen had few opportunities to get used to the pressure of finishing games.“You talked about [the examples of Jos] Buttler and [Glenn] Maxwell. You have to see consistent performances,” he said. “It [finishing] is one of the most difficult things to do in cricket. It’s not about six months or one year. You have to be used to that role and responsibility, and you have to have that self-confidence to keep on doing what is required of you, usually over a period. Once you find a good finisher, they are the ones that will keep batting at that slot for 8-10 years.“I think one of the biggest challenge is that the cricket that we play in the subcontinent, more often than not, a finisher is someone who bats at 5, 6 7, to some extent, maybe No. 4. A lot of times in India, the lower-order doesn’t get a chance to bat.Dhoni himself had made his reputation as a finisher but, with his striking power having dimmed over the last few years, he has indicated a preference for batting higher up the order; his reasoning is he can hold the innings together before hitting out in the end, while the batsman coming in at numbers 7 or 8 could go for the big hits from the start. He said the team management had identified a few players for the finisher’s spot, but refused to divulge their names so as to not put pressure on them.“It becomes more and more difficult for a youngster to come in and fill in that place. The reason being he may not get an opportunity, but you start counting opportunities – say if we are four or five down for 40 runs, it’ll be counted as a big opportunity by you. In 15-20 games, [the youngster] gets an opportunity like that and you expect the youngster to do well, score a 100-150; you say” ‘That was a perfect opportunity in front of you.’”Dhoni is averse to using the word “experimentation”, but with India having only eight ODIs to play before the 2017 Champions Trophy in England, he admitted to there being pressure to identify the best combination of players in a short span of time.“Quite a few of them would have gone to Zimbabwe. All of a sudden, 14 or 15 were there and then a few injuries here and there… It’s not a realistic number but at the same time, there are a few individuals who we are very keen to see what they have on offer.last_img read more

Foxes keep Premier League title hopes on track

first_imgBaggies defender Craig Dawson was on the scoreboard for both sides at White Heart Lane where Spurs were held to a 1-all draw.Tottenham dominated the opening half and Dawson conceded an unfortunate own-goal in the 33rd minute.But West Brom battled back after the break and Dawson made amends for his blunder with a towering 73rd minute to snatch a point that leaves Tottenham seven points behind Leicester with just three games remaining. Spurs striker Harry Kane says that they paid the price for not converting the chances that came their way…Later tonight, Manchester City will host Real Madrid in the first-leg of their Champions League semi-final.City are likely to be without injured midfielder Yaya Toure as they prepare to host the Spanish giants.Kick-off at the Etihad is at 7:45.last_img read more