India-South Africa ODIs: Don't want a lot of grass cover, says Dhoni

Kolkata, Oct 8: Having been comprehensively outplayed by South Africa in both the T20 internationals, India captain MS Dhoni today said that he would not prefer a lot of grass cover for the upcoming 5-match ODI series against the Proteas.

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Asked at the post-match presentation ceremony as to what kind of pitches he would prefer during ODIs, Dhoni said:"We would like to play the surface that is provided to us. But at the same time, we want to make the most of the home series. Don't want a lot of grass cover. It is also difficult for the spinners with dew as well."

MS Dhoni

Dhoni expects ODI series to be a good one. "The ODIs will be good, but again a lot will depend on the kind of venues and the toss as well. Kanpur being one of them. Dew is always a factor, once you play after September."

The skipper said that they were planning a few changes in the side. "We wanted to make a few changes in the side. We wanted to change the batting order. It's sad that we were not able to play. This is one venue where you really want to play. Don't want to come here and then not play a game.

"Three changes, we were planning to make - Jinks (Ajinkya Rahane) was supposed to open, (Suresh) Raina to bat at No. 3 and (Amit) Mishra and (Stuart) Binny would have played. We wanted to see what really would have been best for us," he said.

Having played at Eden Gardens a lot, Dhoni said he knew instantly that it would be difficult to start the game after an evening shower. "I played here a lot to know that outfield wouldn't change a lot. There was no sun. The rain was a lot too, even if it was only an hour," he said.

South Africa Twenty20 captain Faf du Plesis said the series win will give the visitors a lot of confidence going into the rest of the tour.

"Disappointing, the rain played a huge role today. The players safety is quite important on such a long tour. I think its really important to acknowledge how hard it is to come to India and win a series," Du Plesis said.

"We will take a lot of confidence going into the ODIs. Saying that India will be fresh, they would want to set the record straight. We need to be wary."

Du Plesis said it is a blessing in disguise for South Africa to have three different leaders for three different formats. "We are very fortunate to have great leaders in our team. Myself, Hashim and AB (de Villers) work really well together. We rely heavily on each other," he said.

Du Plesis also pinpointed a few of South Africa's star performers in their just-concluded Twenty20 series. "JP (Duminy) did really well. Kagiso (Rabada) was fantastic as well, especially in the second game. The standout for me were the four seamers. I think in the first game, they got off to a great start, we pulled it back and then JP took over.

"But in the second game, to bowl India out for 90-odd, that doesn't happen a lot," he said. Man-of-the-series Duminy anyday the visitors would have gleefully accepted the 2-0 win over India in the Twenty20 series.

"I am very happy. Unfortunately we didn't get a game today. Would have been nice to have gotten another game under the belt. "If someone had to give us 2-0, we would have taken it. Its always a tough series to play in India against India. Going to be a good five-match ODI series," Duminy said.


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