India to test its bench strength in remaining matches

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Bangalore, Nov 24 (UNI) India would look to test its bench strength in the remaining three matches after the home team took an unassailable 4-0 lead against England here.

Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni said with the series in pocket, the players, who could not get a chance to play in the series so far, will get opportunities to prove their talent but he also made it very clear that there would be no let up in the quality of cricket that the home team has displayed.

''You will see a few changes in the side in the next three matches. Some of the people who have not played in the series so far will play but we still look to win games,'' Dhoni here yesterday after India beat England by 19 runs under Duckworth/Lewis method.

''Three more matches to come and we want to win those games,'' he added.

In the rain-truncated 22-overs-a-side ODI, India posted 166 for five and then restricted England to 178 for eight which was 19 runs short of the revised total of 198.

Dhoni admitted that it was a tough task to grip the bowl in wet conditions but credited his bowlers for restricting the English team well short of the required total.

''Because of the wet outfield, the ball became soggy and it was not easy to grip the ball. We have one specialist spinner (Harbhajan Singh) and part-time spinners. It was really difficult for them to grip the ball.

''But then Zaheer (Khan) bowled very well, along with Ishant (Sharma) and Munaf (Patel). Overall it was a very good team effort,'' Dhoni conceded.

Dhoni had some special words of appreciation for Zaheer Khan who not only bowled well himeslf but was also giving in his inputs to the fellow pacers during some tense moments of the match.

''I was not giving much advice. First I like them to bowl to their own plans and if that does not work I ask them to bowl according to my plans.

''But Zaheer has been of great help throughout the series and has taken the extra initiative to help others. It has worked for us and we should be thankful to him,'' Dhoni stated.

Meanwhile, England captain Kevin Pietersen said though his team has lost the series, his team would for pride and also admitted that his team was beaten by a formidable Indian side.

''We have been done in by an Indian side which played fantastic cricket at the moment. We came here on a high after the 4-0 win against South Africa back home and I guess we have to adjust to this series defeat now,'' Pietersen said.

UNI XC RAR AS1414

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