The likes of Barinder Sran and Manish Pandey are going through a trial by fire in just their debut series but Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni feels there is nothing unfair about putting them up against a rampaging Australia as the team needs a “brave” bunch of youngsters going forward.
India have already conceded the ongoing ODI series against Australia after going down in the third match in Melbourne as well. The youngsters have not quite made a resounding impact but by Dhoni’s own admission, it is too early to judge them on performance.
Sran has been decent in his three outings so far, bagging three wicket in the process. Pandey came in to bat at 276/4 with four overs left in the Brisbane ODI. Despite his IPL showings, he is not a slam-bang cricketer and yet had to go for it, managing 6 runs off 5 balls in the end.
“If you are getting a chance to play for your country, irrespective of the situation, it isn’t unfair. As captain that’s what you have to communicate to these youngsters,” said Dhoni in Melbourne, the venue of the third ODI.
“There is a lot of scrutiny and players who tend to bat at nos. 5 or 6, they tend to think of surviving till the end and show off as if they are hitting, remain not out in the end and are happy with it. That’s not the kind of culture you want in the team,” he added.
Dhoni said the exposure so far may not be a clear indication of their talent but their character is certainly revealed.
“When it comes to these youngsters, Pandey in the last game and today with Mann and Dhawan, there was no hesitation of playing a big shot. When you play tough games, it gives you more experience than playing just a normal ODI. This is what has happened with them.
“You can’t really judge their performances because they have only batted 12 to 15 balls. But you can judge their character based on those few deliveries.”
“That is something you have to encourage, and at the end of the day the captain and the selectors have to look at that specifically. Because it tells you a lot about the character of these individuals, and you want brave people in the side.
Winning and losing keeps happening, but you want good characters in the side,” the skipper added.
While it was about scoring a few more runs in the first two games, much about the defeat in the third ODI was to do with fielding. At the same time the bowlers weren’t left alone either.