India will have to try out fringe bowlers Ashish Nehra and Ravichandran Ashwin at some stage during its World Cup group campaign, captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni said on Tuesday, hinting the match with strugglers Netherlands could be the perfect opportunity to experiment.
The co-host and pre-tournament favourites have relied on strong performances from its powerful batting lineup and Dhoni told reporters they were still looking for its best bowling combination.
India has persisted with just four specialist bowlers in its three Group B matches so far and although Dhoni insisted those numbers wouldn't change, left-arm seamer Nehra and off-spinner Ashwin could be in line for a game against the Dutch in Delhi on Wednesday.
The slow Kotla pitch is likely to suit Ashwin, especially, and Nehra is fit again after a back strain and bowled at the evening practice session following Dhoni's news conference.
"It's always good to feature all the bowlers to see what options you have got," Dhoni said. "The important thing is to win every game but definitely we will have to give them (Nehra and Ashwin) a chance, especially in the league stage before entering the knockout stage."
India's current bowlers conceded 283 to Bangladesh, 338 in a tied game against England and were not completely dominant against Ireland and the team is running out of time to get it right before the quarterfinals.
Following Wednesday's match against the winless Dutch, India finishes its Group B campaign against South Africa and a resurgent West Indies.
"To peak at the right time will be important," Dhoni said. "To be at that place is one of the most important things because as soon as you reach the knockout stage, that is where the problems are... if you have a bad game, you are out of the tournament."