Kolkata: Indian skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni on Thursday threw his weight behind out-of-form team-mate Yuvraj Singh and said the middle-order batsman needed support as he was going through a difficult patch. (Agencies)
Yuvraj, who made a comeback in the ongoing Test series, failed once again in the second Test against the West Indies with a reckless innings of 25 as India notched up a mammoth 631 for seven in their first innings. He had made 23 and 18 in the first Test in New Delhi.
Dhoni said Yuvraj needs runs under his belt and in this time of crisis it is important to show confidence in him.
"Yes, he's going through a tough phase but it's important to show confidence on him. We all know he is talented. He has played really well against all the big bowlers especially in the ODI format which means he has talent to do well in Test format as well," Dhoni said after India crushed the West Indies by an innings and 15 runs in the second Test.
"One reason is that he has been in and out of the side. It's very difficult to back yourself. You have that bit of tentativeness. It's a bit tough on him. But hopefully he will recover and do well for India," he said.
Dhoni, meanwhile, praised the new look young Indian bowling attack and said it's important that pacers do not pick up injury.
"I think the whole bowling unit looks very balanced. The fast bowlers look very fresh which means they can bowl a lot of overs that is needed in a Test. The spinners also bowling in the same way.
"I am quite happy with their performance. Umesh Yadav again is someone who can bowl really quick. But we will have to use him in best possible manner so that we don't overuse him and he gets injured," said Dhoni.
"We have a pool (of) fast bowlers who can bowl quick. But it's important to sustain at top-level. It's not always about bowling fast. You have to bowl in right areas with the kind of pressure," he said.
On the spin department, Dhoni said, "Ojha has been playing a couple of formats ... Even in the Tests, he is in and out of playing XI and Ashwin is new to the longer version that means all of them are fairly fresh and raring to go and a bit more energy on the field. They back themselves which is very important in Tests."
Dhoni, however, said that it was not the right time to experiment even though India have taken an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match Test series.
"It's too soon right now. We will see what needs to be done. We don't want to overuse the bowlers also. We will think and do what's best for the side. Let's see everything goes well," he said.
"It's not about experimentation. We will see what best possible XI we will have and accordingly we will decide," he added.
Dhoni also showered praise on his batsmen, saying that they have done an excellent job in the match after their failure in the first innings of the Delhi Test.
"Our batting did not do outstandingly well in the first innings in Delhi. But after that we have shown improvements in the second innings ahead of this Test. We have covered the areas really well. Our fielding has been decent," he said.
"England was a bad tour for us. There were several reasons why we did not do well there. It is always good to be on the winning side. It's the process that's more important than the results. Glad to be on the winning side," said Dhoni.
After their disastrous England tour where they were blanked in the Tests, ODIs and the lone Twenty20I, India returned to inflict a 5-0 whitewash on the same opponents at home.
Asked if he is hopeful of a series whitewash against Windies, Dhoni said, "We will try our best. It's difficult to predict in cricket. We will have to see what kind of wicket we get there (in Mumbai)."
Praising the West Indies for their batting display in the second essay, Dhoni said, "West Indies are a good side. Their bowling line is quite good. It's not that they can't bat. As you have seen in the second innings they are talented batsmen.
"We are expecting a tough third Test. We have shown some improvements in this Test than we did in the first Test. Hopefully we will go on improving. We are not thinking on results. We will try to do well on the field."
Asked whether he was looking to give himself some rest ahead of the much important Australia series beginning next month, Dhoni said: "I won't take rest for the next game that's for sure. Let's see after that."
Kolkata: Indian skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni on Thursday threw his weight behind out-of-form team-mate Yuvraj Singh and said the middle-order batsman needed support as he was going through a difficult patch.