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Dhoni hopes Ahmedabad pitch will help spinners

Dhoni hopes Ahmedabad pitch will help spinners

India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni is hoping a spin-friendly pitch will help the home team beat New Zealand in the first test starting Thursday.
After a practice session Wednesday at the Sardar Patel stadium, Dhoni said "there does not seem to be much grass on the pitch and I hope it helps the slow bowlers."
India will be a strong favorite for the three-test series, coming off a 2-0 triumph over Australia.
India also prevailed 1-0 in a rain-hit three-match limited-overs series against the Australians, while New Zealand suffered a shock 4-0 loss in a five-match one-day series in Bangladesh last month.
"There definitely is a lot less grass than was against South Africa (in 2008), but it is difficult to say right now what to expect from the pitch," said the skipper.
The Ahemdabad track was known to be a good batting pitch till one with grass was prepared for the test against South Africa, in which express pace bowler Dale Steyn ran through India's batting lineup, dismissing the home team for a paltry 76 in the first innings and eventually lost by an innings and 90 runs.
However, a subsequent match against Sri Lanka last year ended in a tame draw on a placid pitch.
"This pitch should be a more sporting one," said curator Dhiraj Parsana. "It will help seamers a little bit early in the match, but spinners are likely to dominate on the last two days."
Dhoni said that though he could always bank on spinners, he did not discount the Zaheer Khan-led pace attack either.
"We've had some injuries because of which Ishant Sharma and Sreesanth have not been able to play regularly. Fitness is always a concern, especially when you have the World Cup coming up, and you can't gamble going into a match with an injured pace bowler like you can do with a batsman," said Dhoni.
India has a busy season ahead as it is due to tour South Africa in December-January before the World Cup is held on the subcontinent from February next year.
Dhoni said New Zealand should not be discounted because of the Bangladesh defeats.
"There will always be days when you will be outplayed by others in international cricket and New Zealand has players who have performed in international cricket," he said.
"A lot often depends on the toss, even though we have been chasing totals for recent wins," said Dhoni, referring to the two test victories against Australia last month.
"It is always a challenge to bat last when the ball is doing a lot," he added.
The remaining two tests of the series will be held in Hyderabad and Nagpur. The tests will be followed by five limited-overs internationals.


Updated : 2021-03-01 16:22 GMT+08:00