Kolkata: Ahead of the crucial second one-day international against Pakistan at the Eden Gardens here, Indian skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni on Wednesday admitted that batting was a "concern" and hoped his batsmen would come good in the match on Thursday.
"It is a must-win game for us and obviously we are under a bit of pressure, especially when it is a short series. Our batting has been a problem. That is one area that we need to come good in. It is the right time for our batters to come back to form," Dhoni said.
Dhoni also said that the team was going through a transition period as some of the seniors, including Sachin Tendulkar, had bowed out.
Dhoni admitted that batting was a "concern" and hoped his batsmen would come good in the match.
"The team is going through a transition period, some of our frontline bowlers are injured and we have an inexperienced bowling line up. However, I'm not worried, we need to do the basics right," said Dhoni.
With new rules by the ICC for ODIs introduced in the series, Dhoni said it was important for the team to play according to merit instead of going for big shots. Under the new rules, a maximum of four fielders are allowed to man the boundaries at any stage of the 50-over contest.
"With just four fielders outside the circle, there can be temptation to play big shots which can eventually lead to wickets. So it is imperative that we play the ball according to its merit. We need to keep wickets in hand and not think too much about big scores. It is important that we play according to what the situation demands."
The captain, however, was quick to back his batsmen. "We have done well in the shorter formats of the game and it would be unfair to blame the batsmen just on the basis of the last game," said Dhoni.
Dhoni, who has persisted in playing with four frontline bowlers and seven batsmen, also defended his decision. "Had there not been a seventh batsman we could have ended under 120 in the last game. It is more like a catch-22 situation where you want to play five bowlers but also want a seventh batsman. However, it is imperative that our part-time bowlers bowl smartly and not give away easy runs," he said.
Dhoni also said that he was not perturbed about former players criticising his captaincy. "You have to respect what others say but my job is to play and guide the youngsters. We are more concerned about winning tomorrow than criticisms."