Millennium Post

India top contenders in WT20: Dhoni

The emphatic triumph over Sri Lanka giving a perfect start to their World Twenty20 build-up, Indian captain MS Dhoni said his side will be one of the top contenders at the showpiece even though some top batsmen are yet to get enough time in the middle.

Due to India's deep batting, not all the batsmen have got enough runs and overs under their belt in the last six T20 matches. Dhoni himself and comeback-man Yuvraj Singh have hardly spent time in the middle both in the series against Australia and Sri Lanka. "Everybody has not got the chance to bat. But you will keep facing this problem because our batting line-up is deep. We will have to try and give bating to players, who have not batted so far but people who are batting close to 6, 7 or 8, they will have to play big shots because that is going to be certainly be very important for us," Dhoni said after series- clinching nine-wicket win against Sri Lanka here last night. "It's not how many runs you have scored at that time but may be if you are facing only 3-4 balls and you can get 10-15 runs, that will be a real benefit," he said. Dhoni said familiar conditions at home is also a comforting factor for them for the World Twenty20 starting March 8.

"We are always a top contender when it comes to the shorter format. Also the World Cup being held in India, the spinners will come into action and that gives us added benefit and also the exposure of playing IPL over here. Out of eight seasons we have played seven here and all of that will count," he said.

The Indian captain said the key will be to get the dangerous batsmen in the opposition out early. "What the shortest format does is that it narrows down the difference between two teams. You have to keep the big hitters (of rival team) out of the game. Also in a knockout game you have to be at your best, you can't have an off day because once the knockout stage starts, it's more like lottery cricket, I feel more consistent to be important."

Dhoni said it was helpful to have someone like Jasprit Bumrah, who can bowl yorkers in the death and give the team an option to hand the ball to someone like Ashwin early. He said identifying death bowlers in ODIs was more crucial than in T20s.
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