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India to field reserve players in last 3 ODIs

November 24, 2008 10:10 IST

With the series in pocket, India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni said the hosts would field reserve players in the remaining three one-day matches against England.

Dhoni said the unassailable 4-0 lead in the seven-match series allows the side to field players who have not got a chance to prove their mettle in the series.

But at the same time, there would be no change to the intensity to win, the Indian captain added.

"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," he said.

"Three more matches to come and we want to win those games," Dhoni said after his team beat England by 19 runs via Duckworth-Lewis method in Bangalore on Sunday.

With the match reduced to 22-overs-a-side following two rain-interruptions, Indian bowlers survived some anxious moments before taming the opponents and Dhoni said the task was not easy.

"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 said.

Asked how he was marshalling his bowlers in such tense situation, Dhoni said, "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 added.

His opposite number Kevin Pietersen said though the series was lost, England would now play for pride.

"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," he said.

Asked how his team would approach the next three games, Pietersen said, "We have to make sure that this competition stays competitive. We have to win a few games. We came here to win the series but we have not won the series. So we have to make sure we win a few game at least."

Virender Sehwag was adjudged man of the match for his 57-ball 69 and the swashbuckling opener said he had decided to see through Andrew Flintoff's overs before going after other England bowlers.

"It was a good track to bat on. In the IPL, I scored some 40 runs off 17 balls at the same ground. So I backed myself here and knew if I can see through Flintoff's overs, I can play any other bowler," Sehwag said.

The hard-hitting opener was also happy with his on-side game and he attributed the improvement to long hours spent in the nets.

"I think I'm improving a lot. I have been spending time in the nets and the coach [Gary Kirsten] is also spending time with me. I have done well against Australia and now England also and I'm happy with the way I'm playing," he said.

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