Part-timers will be crucial: Dhoni
Mumbai, Sep 13: Champions of the inaugural ICC World T20, Team India led by skipper MS Dhoni, are hoping to repeat the feat in this year’s edition in Sri Lanka. The skipper, who lifted the trophy in 2007 and also took India to the pinnacle of Test Cricket and won the 2011 World Cup, said, "I do not mind repeating it all over again. That will be a big positive for us.''
While addressing the media ahead of the tournament, the Indian captain said, ''We as a side rely a lot on our batsmen. But the part-time bowlers will be crucial to our chances. They bowl ten-over and eight-over spells in one-day cricket, but they are essentially part-timers. We have got plenty of variety in that sense. We have to therefore ensure that they do not go for too many runs. If that happens, then we will be a good side.’’
The return of Yuvraj Singh is a welcome relief for the captain and his team as they were missing a genuine all-rounder during his absence. Emphasising on the role that that Yuvraj plays for the side, Dhoni said, "We do not play with a fifth bowler. We play with seven batsmen as we do not really have an all-rounder. But Yuvraj, Virat Kohli can bowl a bit, and this also adds depth to the batting."
While discussing the pitches in Sri Lanka he said, "When I first came to Sri Lanka in 2005, the pitches were different. But now it has changed. There is a bit of help for the seamers and even the spinners come into play.''
However, he believes that India is equipped to handle the conditions on offer with the current pace attack, which comprises Irfan Pathan, Laskhmipathy Balaji and ace pacer Zaheer Khan.
"It is not like our seamers have not performed well. They are used to these shorter formats. If the pitches do help them, then our seamers will get a chance to explore themselves. If you see, our fast bowlers are specialists in this format as they feature in the ODI team as well as the T20 team; especially someone like Balaji, who has the experience and the variations for this format," Dhoni said.
He added, "In this tournament we are playing considerable number of games unlike in a bilateral series where we play just one or two games. Plus, we also have two warm-up games, so momentum will help a bit. But the format is such that the momentum can change quite a bit in the same game and can at times vary from game to game. So, it is good to have the momentum, but it is definitely not the main factor.''
Speaking about India’s opponents in Group A, which also includes Afghanistan and England, Dhoni said, “We respect all our opposition. We want to completely eradicate complacency. It helps us perform at our best."