Colombo: Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni today defended beleaguered speedster Zaheer Khan, calling him the "Sachin Tendulkar of Indian bowling" but at the same time indicated a few changes in the team line-up for the last World T20 group match against England here tomorrow.
"It's easier to go after a bowler when is not doing well. For me, Zaheer is the Sachin Tendulkar of the Indian bowling attack. He has been the leader of the bowling unit for a number of years now," Dhoni said during the pre-match media interaction.
"He might not have been so effective in the last few matches but in those situations others need to step up. I believe it's a matter of time for him to get back to form," he added.
However, Dhoni looked a little circumspect when asked whether he would remain a 'Zaheer backer' even if the bowler's bad patch is a prolonged one.
"It's a difficult question to answer. Obviously, it depends on the format. For me, he is an experienced cricketer but then you have to look at the format. In this format you don't get too many matches."
With a place in the Super Eights already confirmed, Dhoni indicated that there were plans to make a few changes in the playing XI for their game against England.
"We are looking to make a few changes in the side. Obviously, we only name the playing XI on the day of the match. We ideally want most of our 15 members to get some game time in the middle before we get on with the Super Eights," he remarked.
The skipper has looked in good touch and it was his 8-ball 19 that helped India reach close to 160 but he is still not keen on dropping Yuvraj Singh down the order.