India needs to play three spinners against Oz: Akram

New Delhi: Former Pakistan captain Wasim Akram feels that India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni should use three specialist spinners in the quarterfinal against Australia in order to exploit the weakness of Ricky Ponting’s men against slow bowlers.

“If the wicket in Ahmedabad offers turn, then M.S. Dhoni should definitely opt for three spinners since the Aussies don’t play spin that well,” Akram told the Mobile ESPN in an interview.

Sri Lanka had adopted a similar strategy during their clash against the Aussies on a turning track at the Premadasa stadium in Colombo on March 5. However the Lankan spin-trio of Muttiah Muralitharan, Ajantha Mendis and Rangana Herath did not get a chance to showcase their skills as the match got washed out.

However, Akram added that in case the pitch at Ahmedabad is a flat one, then the ploy to stack the side with spinners may backfire on India.

“Playing so many spinners on a batting track may spell doom for India since the slower bowlers will not get much assistance from the surface,” Akram said.

India have played with two specialist spinners in four out of the six league games in this tournament. However they haven’t played a single match yet with all three spinners (Harbhajan Singh, R. Ashwin and Piyush Chawla) in the eleven.

One major worry for Team India, going ahead into the knockout stages, will be the back-to-back batting collapses against South Africa and the West Indies. While they lost nine wickets for only 29 runs against the Proteas in Nagpur, Dhoni and company performed marginally better on Sunday losing their last seven wickets for the addition of only 51 runs.

Akram mentioned that despite this recklessness by the most-famed batting line-up in the world, there is not much reason to worry for the fans.

“Yes, the India batting has collapsed badly twice. But I don’t think there is any major reason to worry as these things happen by chance. At the same time, you have to plan your innings and cannot afford to slog every delivery. I am quite sure the experienced Indian middle-order will learn a lot out of their mistakes,” concluded Akram.