World T20 2014 news March 14, 2014

Dhoni not worried over lack of T20 preparation

ESPNcricinfo staff
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'Familiar conditions will help our bowlers' - Dhoni

It is ironic that the country with the most lucrative T20 tournament in the world, India, have played only five T20 internationals since the last World T20 in 2012. Four of those were played towards the end of that year and only one in 2013, in contrast to other teams like England and West Indies that have already played three-match T20 series in the build-up to the upcoming World T20 in Bangladesh. Despite the lack of practice in this format, India captain MS Dhoni was confident that the experience gained by the players in the IPL was sufficient for them to compete as a unit.

"Most of the teams, if you see, don't play a lot of T20s," Dhoni said in Dhaka in his first press conference ahead of the tournament. "Especially with the kind of schedule we have, I don't think we'll be able to accommodate more than one or two T20s [per series]. That is something that I will always face.

"At the same time, we have got the IPL where we have played with the best players and the standard there is as high as international standards so that really amounts to the experience we need."

Since winning the inaugural World T20 in 2007, India have failed to make the semi-finals in each of the next three editions. In 2012, despite losing just one out their five games, India failed to make the final four because they fell short on the net run rate. Dhoni said their experience was an example of how no team can afford to lose even a single game, for it could affect their chances of qualifying. India are placed in a tough group, with Pakistan, Australia and West Indies.

"Our group is quite a competitive one so all the matches will be important," Dhoni said. "Especially when you consider our performance in the last edition of the World T20 where we exited from the tournament after losing just one game. We have a couple of warm-up games before our first game so we'll be looking towards using those warm-ups to sort out our team's balance."

India's performances away from home have slipped since beating Zimbabwe 5-0 last year. India failed to win a single game on their tours of South Africa and New Zealand and failed to make the final of the Asia Cup that concluded recently in Bangladesh. Dhoni admitted that their performances in the away Tests and ODIs were below par, but was confident that none of it would affect their showing in the upcoming T20s.

"I think we have had to endure tough times recently but even in these situations it's not like we hadn't played good cricket," he said. "If you look at our Test performances away from home since 2011 you will see that our displays haven't been up to the mark. In the last two away series [against South Africa and New Zealand] we have shown that we have talent though we lost both the series. So I think we are on the way up, and that's where you want to be. There is always pressure."

Dhoni missed the Asia Cup due to a side strain and he said the short break after the hectic traveling did him good. "For me, the positive side was to get a bit of rest. I was at home with no work. It was something that I would appreciate. You don't want to get injured and miss a series. So overall, a good 10-12 days off."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • android_user on March 18, 2014, 13:34 GMT

    y dhoni didnt cum to bat in warmuo match yesterday?? surprising move although didnt get the reason n india didnt defend such a small target having such big names in team wth pure batsman n allrounder frm 1 to 10.. vry unlikely performance... i thought dhoni presence ll have a positive impact in indians.. hmm lets see how things goes on in cuming matches for all teams bcz its a format whr the team perform well in tht particular day should win. its hard to predict abt any team or any player before time.bt it ll be an interesting tournament. best wishes to all bt special prayers for Pakistan. live long pak

  • Naresh28 on March 18, 2014, 7:17 GMT

    India lost yesterday to SL - I would not read too much into that practice warmup game. Yuvi and Raina contributed and showed their like for this format. India need a pure batsman like Pujara amongst these formats.

  • satchander on March 17, 2014, 4:02 GMT

    India have no chance. Yuvraj is out of form. Raina is out of form. Bowlers are all jaded. Shami - give that man a break - he has been bowling non-stop. Dhoni needs to drop TEST from his captaincy. PLEASE have different teams for different formats - only then players will remain fresh and will be able to give their best. 2007 we won because we had a new team. Unless you approach T20 in the manner you did in 2007, India will struggle always.

  • android_user on March 17, 2014, 3:41 GMT

    dhoni should up in the batting order yuvraj should play as 6th batsmen

  • Nampally on March 16, 2014, 23:53 GMT

    @TNAmarkFromIndia: Yes Yuvraj & Raina failed in the Tests & ODI's. They tried to act as though they have great defence or got unduly ruffled expecting bouncers. In T20 there is no time to think. Yuvraj & Raina are moe at ease attacking - that's why they are called "Finishers". Similarly Dhawan & Rohit are good attacking. One advantage they have on their side is shorter boundary which Yuvraj or Raina can clear just flicking the ball over the fence. Rohit is good hitting sixers over extra Cover. Another point is there are no Slips cordon. Dhawan is very strong on cutting which is restricted because of fear in being caught there. So the natural game of these 4 guys means heavy scoring in T20. Karan Sharma or Rahul Sharma would have been highly effective leg spinners in T20. Sadly Dhoni hates leg spinners. I doubt whether he will have Mishra in XI. Right horses for the right format is critical. I feel that India will bank on their batting getting 180 to 200 total to win each match!

  • Cricsnake on March 16, 2014, 9:42 GMT

    I think still India has a chance. Match practice is essential, but if you play disciplined sensible cricket the chances are high. Dhoni is the man who done this before. In 2007 T20 WC nobody expected India could win, but this man led the team to get that. 2011 ODI WC & 2013 CT all won by this man's effort. He is superb. Though I'm not Indian I wish all the very best for Dhoni. GL team India.

  • Sandt on March 16, 2014, 6:57 GMT

    Dear Dhoni, what india have done in T20 after IPL has started. please tell us. nothing. So how can you say IPL will help you to play well in this T20.Please understand you should preform properly and not bank on IPL. Also if you have non performing favorites in your team to include you are not going to win in intl cricket.

  • srinideva on March 15, 2014, 23:47 GMT

    @Anand Palwankar, That`s good. Only time will tell what he can offer to the Indian team. Best of luck to him and mainly India..Have a nice day my friend.

  • android_user on March 15, 2014, 21:29 GMT

    @rakon _me ind and aus wont even make it so semis pak and west indies will go throuh from this group MARK MY WORDS

  • huffpost on March 15, 2014, 18:36 GMT

    rohit dhawan kohli yuvi raina dhoni jadeja ashwin mishra kumar shami..this would be the right combo...i really think this team will do it...it will be an India-Australia final...mark my words..