Dernbach identifies Dhoni as the man England must look to target

ENGLAND seamer Jade Dernbach insists he and his fellow bowlers must find a way of subduing India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni if his side are to claw their way back into the one-day series.

The hosts took a 1-0 lead in the five-match series with a comprehensive 126-run win on Friday in which Dhoni bludgeoned 87 runs from just 70 balls in a total of 300-7.

Of England’s attack, South African-born Dernbach coped better than most in the face of Dhoni’s barrage – he was the only one of Alastair Cook’s pacemen to go for less than six an over – and he concedes England must work out a way of stemming the flow of runs from the World Cup winning skipper’s bat in Delhi today.

“Obviously, he’s a fantastic player,” said Dernbach. “As a bowling unit, we just need to find a way of getting him out, and restricting him – as is the case in any game, in any powerplay.

“He’s a great player, as is the Indian side in general. We just need to find a way of being better than him on the day, find a way of restricting him and getting him out.

“In the games where India have done well, he seems to have been the man who has been there to be quite destructive – so we have to find a way of getting him out.”

Much attention has focussed on England’s collapse at the hands of the Indian spinners in the opener.

And India batsman Virat Kholi told England that with conditions on the sub-continent favouring slow bowlers, and given England’s problems facing spin on those surfaces, it was a tactic that his side will aim to employ extensively throughout the series.

“We’re going to look to use spin as our strength,” said Kholi. “England obviously did struggle in the first match against spin, so we’ll probably try to capitalise on those middle overs where they were not that sure.

“That will be our strength, especially playing on these kind of wickets in India.

ENGLAND’S NEMESIS | MS DHONI

DHONI’S LAST FIVE V ENGLAND
Southampton, 3 Sep: 6
The Oval, 9 Sep: 69
Lord’s, 11 Sep: 78 not out
Cardiff, 16 Sep: 50 not out
Hyderabad, 14 Oct: 87 not out

DHONI’S OVERALL RECORD V ENGLAND
Matches: 25; Runs 855; Highest Score 96; Average 45.00; Fifties 7; Catches 25; Stumpings 8.