Dec 18, 2008

Sport - Cricket;Dhoni in two minds on demoting Dravid in the batting order

MOHALI: India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni on Thursday revealed the team think-tank was toying with the idea of dropping off-colour Rahul Dravid down the batting order but said it was in two minds fearing the ploy may boomerang in the
second and final Test against England.

Dhoni said promoting VVS Laxman at number three was one of the options before the Indian team in the match starting on Friday but felt it was not a foolproof idea of helping Dravid wriggle out of his bad patch.

"We are thinking about that but as of now, it's not confirmed," Dhoni said.

"Shifting Rahul to number five and asking VVS to bat at number three seems ok at times. VVS has scored runs at number three and it would be easy for Rahul too. But it can also boomerang," he said.

"If VVS gets a good ball and gets out, there is already pressure on Rahul and once you lose three wickets, the pressure is always on the number five batsman. It's really tough to tackle that," Dhoni explained.

"At least batting at number three gives you the freedom to play your natural game," he said.

Since the home series against South African, Dravid has been a pale shadow of his former self and continuous failure has reduced the Mr Dependable to the weakling of the side.

Dhoni, however, once again threw his weight behind the senior batsman and said once he manages to survive the early overs, things would be alright for Dravid.

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