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Dhoni Non-Committal On Yuvraj Playing On Sunday

Kochi, Oct 16: India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni was today non-committal on dashing batsman Yuvraj Singh playing tomorrow's first ODI against Australia or not here but gave indications that youngster Saurabh Tiwary could make his
PTI October 16, 2010 21:10 IST
PTI

Kochi, Oct 16: India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni was today non-committal on dashing batsman Yuvraj Singh playing tomorrow's first ODI against Australia or not here but gave indications that youngster Saurabh Tiwary could make his international debut.

Asked if Yuvraj, who returned to the ODI squad after being dropped from the Test series, would play tomorrow, Dhoni replied cryptically, "You will have to wait and watch".

Insisted further on Yuvraj, Dhoni said, "Every series is important irrespective of whether you are in the side or an experienced player or youngster coming back to the game. The more the competition, it is good for the side. Be it Yuvraj or Suresh Raina or me or the youngsters it's the same," he said.

Dhoni was forthcoming though when asked if Murali Vijay will be fielded as one of the openers. "Yes, Murali Vijay will be there," he said.

He said Tiwary was suited for batting at number six or seven as he always wanted to go for big hits as was seen in the IPL and Champions League Twenty20 where he got exposure against some best bowlers in the world.

"We want to blood him because he has been part of the team for a few series earlier. He has got exposure against the best bowlers in the IPL and CL T20. I think it is an ideal opportunity for us to give him a place in the final XI and let him play the kind of cricket he plays. He is ideally suited for number six or seven slot wherein he can look to go after the bowlers," said Dhoni about Tiwary who also hails from Jharkhand.

Dhoni said Tiwary has the right attitude to go a long way in international cricket.

"He wants to go out in the middle and play the kind of cricket he knows. He backs himself and he is hard working and spends his time at net sessions. He is good character to have. With proper guidance and with little more exposure to international cricket, he can be really successful.

"It is good to have some one from Jharkhand. It is slightly tougher for a player to come from a small state and represent your country. It is not a restriction any more because most of cricket played in India is covered by media in a beautiful manner and selectors will notice. It is good to have him in the side. He is an aggressive character and quite young," he added.

Australia have won all the ODI series in India since 1998 and understandably Dhoni was quite cautious talking about the result of the three-match series.

"It is fair enough to say both Australia and India are playing good cricket but it is not all about the result. Of course, they outplayed us on their two trips before but the last series was close. We are hoping that this series will also be close enough for both the teams to at their best," Dhoni said.

Dhoni said all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja will have to start contributing with both the bat and the ball though he is doing well with the latter.

"When he (Jadeja) came to the side, he was more of a batsman than a bowler. But in the last few seasons he has really done well with the ball. He has not so far contributed well with the bat. For a player like him, he has to contribute with the both. At this stage, it is important as to what he does with the ball.

"More often than not, we tend to play with four bowlers and one part timer who can contribute. We still want to keep it the same that someone coming down the order at number seven. It is an ideal opportunity for Jadeja to prove himself. We hope he makes runs in this tournament which will help him cement his place in World Cup squad," he said. PTI