Dhoni may pick Sreesanth in place of Nehra

MUMBAI: Pacer S Sreesanth may be brought into the Indian team in place of injured Ashish Nehra for the summit clash against Sri Lanka in the World Cup cricket final here tomorrow.

Indian skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni also issued a veiled warning to the Sri Lankans saying the home team has not played to its fullest potential and “there is plenty to come” and was prepared to take on veteran spinner Muttiah Muralitharan.

With swing bowler Ashish Nehra virtually ruled out of the grand finale due to a multiple finger fracture he suffered in the semifinal clash against Pakistan, Dhoni appeared to indicate his preference in the toss up between S Sreesanth and off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin.

“Ashish is most likely ruled out he’s got multiple fracture on one of his fingers,” he said adding that the choice could be between Sreesanth and Ashwin.

“If you see the Mumbai track there’s a bit of pace and bounce for the seamers initially and there is a bit of reverse swing going. The third seamer can have an impact on the game.

An extra seamer means I am able to manoeuvre the bowlers,” the skipper said at the pre-match press conference,” Dhoni said.

The skipper, who had surprised everyone by keeping Ashwin out of the Mohali encounter after his good performance in two matches, said “With a spinner, if you have three spinners along with a part-timer you don’t have room for manoeuvre. But whatever opportunity Ashwin has got, irrespective of where he has fared, he has done really well.

“We have confidence in him but we are not clear about whether to go with three seamers or two seamers and one extra spinner,” he said.

Sreesanth had not played after the tournament opener on February 19 against Bangladesh at Mirpur, and asked how he can slip into his groove after such a lengthy absence from the middle, Dhoni said it can be done if one looked at tomorrow’s final as just another game.

“Don’t look at it as the final but as another game. Sree has done well for us most of the games he has played, he has done well. He’s one character who can definitely swing the ball and get you early wickets. Choosing one individual over other is difficult but let’s hope whoever gets chosen will perform at his best,” he said.

“Unfortunately, we have not been able to give him more chances to play. Even in the first game, he played I thought he did not bowl badly. After that we gave chances to other individuals which I think were needed at that point of time.

It’s more about who suits the condition more. Let’s hope whoever plays just performs,” said Dhoni.

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