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Mahendra Singh Dhoni rules out drastic changes after India seal series against Zimbabwe

India Today logo India Today 14-06-2016

A second-string India demolished a full-strength Zimbabwe in the first two one-day internationals to take an unbeatable lead in the three-match series but skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni ruled out any major changes for the final match, which is of merely academic interest now.

After India had romped home to an eight-wicket win over the hapless hosts today, Dhoni was asked if he would look to give a game to the likes of Faiz Faizal and Mandeep Singh, who have warmed the bench as Lokesh Rahul and Ambati Rayudu tucked in.

"We'll sit and discuss changes for the next game with (interim coach) Sanjay Bangar," Dhoni said at the post-match presentation ceremony. "There's only so much players can do in only one game. We'll see who can fit in the T20 squad and maybe we'll rest one of the bowlers."


India had come to Zimbabwe after resting their top players following a gruelling season. But for the second time in three days, a young and inexperienced attack, led by Barinder Sran and Dhawal Kulkarni, proved too hot to handle for Zimbabwe, who had promised to put India's second-string side "under the carpet."

Dhoni credited his bowlers for a smashing show, which has so far seen Zimbabwe restricted to 168 and 126 in overcast conditions.

"Our bowlers did a great job to restrict them. I felt they would cross 200 (today) and our spinners got us important breakthroughs," Dhoni said.

Zimbabwe had at one point, rebuilt well after collapsing to 39/3. But Yuzvendra Chahal struck thrice in two overs and with Axar Patel tied the lower order down as the hosts imploded against India's quality attack.

Chasing a paltry score, there was some movement for the pacers but India's new opening pair of Rahul and Karun Nair. Rayudu, who came in at the fall of the first wicket, then unleashed an array of shots as India romped home with 139 balls to spare.

Not surprisingly, Dhoni was impressed with India's clinical performance.

"The most important thing is to win games and our batting when it comes to professionalism is right up there. That was the case even in the first game."

Dhoni is not known to change winning combinations and he is unlikely to force any major change for the final game on Wednesday. Maybe, the think-tank might look to give young off-spinner Jayant Yadav a game. In that case, the tried and tested Axar Patel could be rested.

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