India v Pakistan, World T20, Group 2, Dhaka March 20, 2014

Raina and Yuvraj major boosts - Dhoni

52

Suresh Raina and Yuvraj Singh's performances in the practice matches were major boosts for India ahead of the World T20, MS Dhoni has said. Yuvraj was left out for the tour of New Zealand while Raina was dropped midway through that series. Both players were also ignored for the Asia Cup. While Dhoni pointed out bowling as the familiar area of concern, he said he was happy with what India had taken out of the warm-ups.

"Overall we have achieved a lot, especially through the practice games we wanted to give the guys who were not part of the Asia Cup a fair time in the middle and I was quite happy with the way Yuvraj and Raina performed," Dhoni said. "They batted well. Raina has also contributed with his bowling. Whatever we wanted to achieve from the practice games we have achieved that. It looks set but still there are quite a few areas where we will have to improve when it comes to a proper game because you won't really have the luxury of playing 15 players.

"The bowling department is still an area of concern if you compare it to our batting. Getting off to a good start, that is something that is really important for us. If we have wickets in hand we have seen in the past that we can score maybe 10-15 runs more than what can be a par score. In a short format like this, 10-15 runs really matter. Apart from that, the fielding has been good. Overall if we do well in the death bowling and bat well throughout we have a very good chance."

Three of the four fast bowlers in the India squad have never played a T20 international while Bhuvneshwar Kumar has featured in only three. Dhoni thought their exposure in the IPL would be of assistance, and said he wanted them to strike with the new ball. "If you talk about international T20s, our fast bowlers have not played much. But they have spent a lot of time in the IPL where the conditions are a bit similar so I think to some extent that will help.

"Overall when it comes to contribution, we would want them to bowl well with the new ball. If we can get one-two wickets with the new ball, it is considered a good start. Especially in this format if you keep getting regular wickets, the opposition is not able to score too freely. We will try to take wickets with the new ball and then they will come on and bowl the last few overs maybe, so not very different from what the job is for the fast bowlers for some of the other teams."

Dhoni said every match would be crucial to India's chances in the World T20, as they had failed to make the semi-finals of the previous edition in 2012 after losing just one match, to Australia. "What is important is to do well in each and every game. Last T20 World Cup we lost just one game in the qualifying round and were not able to make it to the knockout stages. Especially our group, it is a tough group. "

When asked how he would manage to focus on his own performance and that of his side amid the allegations against him swirling around in parts of the media back home, Dhoni said it was "part and parcel" of Indian cricket. "You have to keep your focus. Especially when you are part of the Indian cricket team, there are plenty of things that go around you so irrespective of whether you are doing well or not so well on the field, so I think it is a big part and parcel of Indian cricket. I think most of the players are quite used to it."

Abhishek Purohit is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • on March 21, 2014, 16:56 GMT

    Raina and Yuvraj is awesome in field....

  • on March 21, 2014, 13:40 GMT

    @Dnivra_the_noil: I completely agree with you on all the points except Rahane for Opening. I think he has been given only one match to prove his opening and that he did well. Again Rohit keeps on disappointing me as well, an extremely talented on but not mentally very good.

    @Browndynamite7: Irfan Pathan has just recovered from injury and played few Vijay Hazare trophy matches, in the first few he did not bowl either. SO he is not fully fit to be in the squad and Does not have enough match practise.

    For me the best team right now is: 1. Dhawan 2. Rahane 3. Kohli 4. Rohit 5. Raina 6. Dhoni 7. Jadeja 8. Ashwin 9. Mishra 10. Bhuvi 11. Shami

    Also Shami needs to be rested if the situation are like dead rubber otherwise he will start to get long term injuries as of Zaheer and other bowlers need to be given chances. One more player needs to be given chance in T20 is rajat bhatia. He is proven player in this kind of format. I really hope he is in team in coming future

  • on March 21, 2014, 11:44 GMT

    Why Indian Selectors stick with same team and why we can't select players on their performance in australia they pick the one who is playing well and drop the one who is not playing well and it doesn't matter whether he is popular senior or close friend of captain.(like Raina ) I mean look at his stats yaar. and the last thing is our homework in asia cup Mohd. Hafiz Lbw Shikhar Dhawan in same fashion to his last match when sri lankan off spinner got him out. like that we all know that shami is better with old ball (after getting reverse swing ) except it he has only some pace. Bhuwi is keen to deliver good length delivery which is better in start not getting too much runs but at last he is getting more runs and our slog overs bowling become a nightmare.

    last but not least if India want to be No. 1 in world he has to work hard on every aspect of cricket like

    1. Fast Bowling :- left arm and right arm 2. Spin :- Leg spinner and Off Spinner 3. Two Pair of Opening Batsman 4. Batsman

  • on March 21, 2014, 11:28 GMT

    @Raghav Galgali - Before adding DK's name to your list, you should be reminded that India could not make to to the finals of the Asia Cup just because of Dinesh Karthik. Messed up easy stumpings against both Sri Lanka and Pakistan.

  • sandeepknk on March 21, 2014, 9:39 GMT

    i couldn't understand why dhoni not giving ball to yuvraj,sure that dhoni did not want yuvraj taking wickets.

  • on March 21, 2014, 9:26 GMT

    Don't know why MSD sticks to only one team.I have seen MISHRA in the team only when VK captains the team......It seems he does not have confidence in STR BINNY,I PANDEY , AM MISHRA or CA PUJARA..... B KUMAR, MHD SHAMI, ASHWIN, S DHAWAN, RG SHARMA ,RA JADEJA they all are not in form because they have not got enough breaks., DK PARTHIV PATEL, AMBATI RAYUDU ROBIN UTHAPPA, SANJU SAMSON, CM GAUTAM, yhey all are talented enough to represent INDIA. Their place is taken by MSD just because of greater hitting.I know he and VK are the only ones who are mature enogh to captain but even SA keeps AB DE as the captain and DE COCK as the WICKET-KEEPER. Even India can opt such a strategy

  • spinkingKK on March 21, 2014, 7:28 GMT

    @heartyCricketer, International cricket is a lot about pressure. One has to read the situation properly and exploit the pressure situations. Then, Aaron will appear as good as Malcolm Marshal. Aaron's pace can be very useful at certain situations. Use him when the situation comes. You have to give him chances to prove anything. One poor match doesn't make him bad. How many times have Indian supporters were wishing there was a pace bowler to counter certain situation?. Part-timers are there. But, there's a reason why they are part-timers. There is no point in bolstering the batting line-up when all you have is 20 overs to play. I can't even believe people having too many strategies for this format. The pitch wear, ball getting old etc doesn't really affect this format. India won the first World Cup because India played with more bowlers when the other teams were strengthening their batting instead. Honestly, I think India should open batting with one specialist and a tail-ender

  • Browndynamite7 on March 21, 2014, 7:26 GMT

    I still don't understand why Irfan Pathan isn't in the side, especially for T20, he has been exceptional in the IPL and he had a great international career, his ability to swing the ball, good pace and hitting hard down the order would benefit india very much especially as most of our fast bowlers are inexperienced in thernational T20's. The indian selectors and Dhoni really need to stop being so cautious and take some risks, the indian fans would be alright with a few losses if it meant we could create the best indian team possible.

    India T20 XI:

    Dhawan, Rahane, Kohli, Yuvi, Raina, Dhoni, Irfan Pathan, Jadeja, Ashwin, Mishra, Shami

    Indian ODI XI:

    Dhawan, Pujara, Kohli, Rahane, Rhohit, Dhoni, Jadeja, Ashwin, Mishra, Bhuvi, Shami

    Indian Test XI:

    Vijay, Dhawan, Pujara, Kohli, Rohit, Dhoni, Irfan Pathan, Jadeja, Ashwin, Mishra/ Bhuvi, Shami

  • Arvind17 on March 21, 2014, 6:45 GMT

    People calling for Dhawan's head, take a chill pill guys. We all want that excitement at the top of the order. We were all used to Sehwag and he came with his own mindset which we marveled when he clicked and loathed when he didn't. IMHO, Dhawan is a more refined version of Sehwag. But it still comes with those risks that we associated with Sehwag. Atleast the guy doesn't hit out mindlessly like Sehwag used to do at times. Give him his space, he will work on the weaknesses (unlike Sehwag ever attempted) and become better. The strike rate will remain same as Sehwag's. Give him time. And he's not been such a flop either... And Rohit, well..... I want to support him but he keeps giving me reasons not to. One thing I am convinced however, is that Rahane is not an answer to our opening woes. Maybe Pujara is the better alternative if we have to look beyond Rohit. But only in ODIs.

  • JerinRajRaina on March 21, 2014, 6:15 GMT

    Indian players are Well played in warmup games, SK Raina and Yuvi can change the game.All the best to Indian players...

  • on March 21, 2014, 16:56 GMT

    Raina and Yuvraj is awesome in field....

  • on March 21, 2014, 13:40 GMT

    @Dnivra_the_noil: I completely agree with you on all the points except Rahane for Opening. I think he has been given only one match to prove his opening and that he did well. Again Rohit keeps on disappointing me as well, an extremely talented on but not mentally very good.

    @Browndynamite7: Irfan Pathan has just recovered from injury and played few Vijay Hazare trophy matches, in the first few he did not bowl either. SO he is not fully fit to be in the squad and Does not have enough match practise.

    For me the best team right now is: 1. Dhawan 2. Rahane 3. Kohli 4. Rohit 5. Raina 6. Dhoni 7. Jadeja 8. Ashwin 9. Mishra 10. Bhuvi 11. Shami

    Also Shami needs to be rested if the situation are like dead rubber otherwise he will start to get long term injuries as of Zaheer and other bowlers need to be given chances. One more player needs to be given chance in T20 is rajat bhatia. He is proven player in this kind of format. I really hope he is in team in coming future

  • on March 21, 2014, 11:44 GMT

    Why Indian Selectors stick with same team and why we can't select players on their performance in australia they pick the one who is playing well and drop the one who is not playing well and it doesn't matter whether he is popular senior or close friend of captain.(like Raina ) I mean look at his stats yaar. and the last thing is our homework in asia cup Mohd. Hafiz Lbw Shikhar Dhawan in same fashion to his last match when sri lankan off spinner got him out. like that we all know that shami is better with old ball (after getting reverse swing ) except it he has only some pace. Bhuwi is keen to deliver good length delivery which is better in start not getting too much runs but at last he is getting more runs and our slog overs bowling become a nightmare.

    last but not least if India want to be No. 1 in world he has to work hard on every aspect of cricket like

    1. Fast Bowling :- left arm and right arm 2. Spin :- Leg spinner and Off Spinner 3. Two Pair of Opening Batsman 4. Batsman

  • on March 21, 2014, 11:28 GMT

    @Raghav Galgali - Before adding DK's name to your list, you should be reminded that India could not make to to the finals of the Asia Cup just because of Dinesh Karthik. Messed up easy stumpings against both Sri Lanka and Pakistan.

  • sandeepknk on March 21, 2014, 9:39 GMT

    i couldn't understand why dhoni not giving ball to yuvraj,sure that dhoni did not want yuvraj taking wickets.

  • on March 21, 2014, 9:26 GMT

    Don't know why MSD sticks to only one team.I have seen MISHRA in the team only when VK captains the team......It seems he does not have confidence in STR BINNY,I PANDEY , AM MISHRA or CA PUJARA..... B KUMAR, MHD SHAMI, ASHWIN, S DHAWAN, RG SHARMA ,RA JADEJA they all are not in form because they have not got enough breaks., DK PARTHIV PATEL, AMBATI RAYUDU ROBIN UTHAPPA, SANJU SAMSON, CM GAUTAM, yhey all are talented enough to represent INDIA. Their place is taken by MSD just because of greater hitting.I know he and VK are the only ones who are mature enogh to captain but even SA keeps AB DE as the captain and DE COCK as the WICKET-KEEPER. Even India can opt such a strategy

  • spinkingKK on March 21, 2014, 7:28 GMT

    @heartyCricketer, International cricket is a lot about pressure. One has to read the situation properly and exploit the pressure situations. Then, Aaron will appear as good as Malcolm Marshal. Aaron's pace can be very useful at certain situations. Use him when the situation comes. You have to give him chances to prove anything. One poor match doesn't make him bad. How many times have Indian supporters were wishing there was a pace bowler to counter certain situation?. Part-timers are there. But, there's a reason why they are part-timers. There is no point in bolstering the batting line-up when all you have is 20 overs to play. I can't even believe people having too many strategies for this format. The pitch wear, ball getting old etc doesn't really affect this format. India won the first World Cup because India played with more bowlers when the other teams were strengthening their batting instead. Honestly, I think India should open batting with one specialist and a tail-ender

  • Browndynamite7 on March 21, 2014, 7:26 GMT

    I still don't understand why Irfan Pathan isn't in the side, especially for T20, he has been exceptional in the IPL and he had a great international career, his ability to swing the ball, good pace and hitting hard down the order would benefit india very much especially as most of our fast bowlers are inexperienced in thernational T20's. The indian selectors and Dhoni really need to stop being so cautious and take some risks, the indian fans would be alright with a few losses if it meant we could create the best indian team possible.

    India T20 XI:

    Dhawan, Rahane, Kohli, Yuvi, Raina, Dhoni, Irfan Pathan, Jadeja, Ashwin, Mishra, Shami

    Indian ODI XI:

    Dhawan, Pujara, Kohli, Rahane, Rhohit, Dhoni, Jadeja, Ashwin, Mishra, Bhuvi, Shami

    Indian Test XI:

    Vijay, Dhawan, Pujara, Kohli, Rohit, Dhoni, Irfan Pathan, Jadeja, Ashwin, Mishra/ Bhuvi, Shami

  • Arvind17 on March 21, 2014, 6:45 GMT

    People calling for Dhawan's head, take a chill pill guys. We all want that excitement at the top of the order. We were all used to Sehwag and he came with his own mindset which we marveled when he clicked and loathed when he didn't. IMHO, Dhawan is a more refined version of Sehwag. But it still comes with those risks that we associated with Sehwag. Atleast the guy doesn't hit out mindlessly like Sehwag used to do at times. Give him his space, he will work on the weaknesses (unlike Sehwag ever attempted) and become better. The strike rate will remain same as Sehwag's. Give him time. And he's not been such a flop either... And Rohit, well..... I want to support him but he keeps giving me reasons not to. One thing I am convinced however, is that Rahane is not an answer to our opening woes. Maybe Pujara is the better alternative if we have to look beyond Rohit. But only in ODIs.

  • JerinRajRaina on March 21, 2014, 6:15 GMT

    Indian players are Well played in warmup games, SK Raina and Yuvi can change the game.All the best to Indian players...

  • checkOnCricket on March 21, 2014, 5:26 GMT

    I think Rahane will not suit the opening as he is slower than Rohit. Dhoni can try jadeja/ Yuvi at the top of the order. even Ashwin may not be a bad idea to open the innings with Dhawan...

    rahane will add more pressure to dhawan who is already struggling find his touch...

  • renjithpbr-alaqah on March 21, 2014, 5:21 GMT

    we need to try another partner for Dhawan as opener. Rohit's defensive style put more pressure on Dhawan. I think Rahane or Kohli can do it. Rohit very good after 4th number.Also Yuvi is a very good bowler in this T20 format. In the last two matches, he did'nt bowl ? If he like to bowl, it is indeed to make him bowl. If Yuvi is well motivateed, he can do that for INDIA!!! renjith

  • robertdinero on March 21, 2014, 4:58 GMT

    If I am not wrong, we saw a guy called samson in IPL, very unfortunate not to see him in the t20 team.

  • on March 21, 2014, 3:40 GMT

    yuvi is the best guy in the team of india . he alone has the ability to make india win well ajmal n afridi are also good in this format but I think kohli , dhoni n ashwin can tackle them

  • heartyCricketer on March 21, 2014, 3:38 GMT

    @spinkingKK : I don't understand your point. what is the use of the having the sixth if the bowler if of no use... U r talking about aaron who has not performed in ODI itself.. if bringing him in and giving him 2 overs and he goes for 30 odd runs... again won't it put more pressure on the batsmen... don't u think we have enough bowlers who can "contain" in the form of jadeja, ashwin, raina, yuvi, bhuvi and shami... why do u have to go for a bowler like aaron who has not proved any thing yet and who is not reliable either...

  • spinkingKK on March 21, 2014, 1:31 GMT

    My humble suggestion to Indian team management is to, play 6 bowlers. 5 + Jadeja and get rid off one of the openers. Play Bhuvi, Shami and Aaron plus Mishra and Aswhin. Get Bhuvi or Mishra to open the batting and go at the bowlers from over 1. If they gets out, nothing is lost. If Kohli got no problems in opening, then, he can go in with the other opener (either Dhawan or Rohit. I am not fussed). This a 20 over innings and you dont' need too many batsmen. But, if you have a weaker bowling attack, it is better to have a lot of options.

  • ramz30380 on March 20, 2014, 23:06 GMT

    @Nampally thanks for explaning the logic behind ur suggestion. Yes, me too have regarded Ashwin as a better bat than he is being used at the moment. In fact I think he is more of a batting all rounder than the other way around!

    I agree with you that Ashwin will not waste deliveries or defend too much - he is capable of attacking we have witnessed some of his prowess in the fast wickets of NZ.

    It is an interesting point - if Fletcher / Dhoni / Any of the team selectors or management seeing this comment can actually give it a serious thought!

    Since its experimentation time - they might as well experiment with Ashwin - he can be groomed to become someone like Hafeez for Pakistan!

  • on March 20, 2014, 20:46 GMT

    SLand AUS are favorites for this T20 WC. David Warner is in great touch and from srilanka sanga, malinga , methews they all are in great form. If I have to go with one team then I would prob go with Aussies. There is no chance for India in this tournament. Only Dhoni and Virat are the match winners but IND doesn't have bowling to defend the target.

  • Bloodwrath on March 20, 2014, 19:03 GMT

    Guys Ashwin I believe is a good batsman, but his credentials cud make up for a fine opening batsman in ODI's and even in Tests but in T20 Jinx or Rohit are better predisposed to provide a stable platform.Raina is on a great form but Yuvi still doesn't look like his same ol' self,but a couple of lefties is essential against Ajmal though....Good luck India

  • Cpt.Meanster on March 20, 2014, 17:41 GMT

    Raina and Yuvi are definitely a boost for India. Both are champion players in this format. I think India need to get their batting order fixed first of all. Rohit is not an opener IMO. Kohli should open with Dhawan, Raina should be at #3, Yuvi at #4, Dhoni at #5, Rohit at #6 and then the all rounders and bowlers. Right now the poor opening stands is putting a lot of pressure on India's middle order. I am very frustrated with Fletcher and co. Why are these guys paid salaries in the first place ? They are eating Indian tax payers' money at the cost of poor team performance. Still, India will be very confident to beat Pakistan in the opening match.

  • BigINDFan on March 20, 2014, 17:25 GMT

    MSD needs to go as a captain and only played as wk/batsmen. He is not rotating his players and has no clear strategy for each game - just waits for things to happen. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over with no change in results. Why should Rohit open when he is failing? Try someone different like Ashwin or Rahane. Mishra should play against Pak and BD not against WI and Aus. Simple reason is Gayle and Warner will feast on his leg spin.

    If MSD goes with a different XI for each match and immediately change his openers he will give Ind the best chance to win WCT20 2014. Where is he captain who won the first WCT20 and WC2011?

  • nizam.integral on March 20, 2014, 17:08 GMT

    I think Ajinkya Rahane has better technique to play the ball at open instead of Rohit... He rotates strike when boundries are not coming...

  • on March 20, 2014, 17:04 GMT

    This Indian team is going to get screwed up this t20 cup. Even in the warm-ups, our openers have badly misfired. I think we should drop Dhawan and test Rahane for a couple of matches. We should slot in Rohit in the middle order. Try Kohli or Ashwin in the opener's slot. Our bowling looks toothless, or forget toothless, spineless. Bhuvaneshwar and Mishra received bad thrashings. Shami too is too expensive. Jaddu wasn't too economical in the second warm-up match, but that is fine when we compare him with the others. Ashwin did fine. I think Mohit Sharma will have a huge role to play if India are to mount a challenge. Raina did excellently well. Kohli too performed well as usual. Yuvi was par. It doesn't look too good as a whole for India.

  • on March 20, 2014, 16:28 GMT

    As a pakistani fan, i have huge respect for Dhoni, Kohli and Yuvi. These 3 player can give Pakistan tough fight. If Pakistan is able to get hold of them then they will be in driver seat otherwise Indian Batting is too strong in these conditions / format. I hope better team wins - Guys take it a game and Enjoy !

  • WeeBee on March 20, 2014, 15:56 GMT

    well ! .. i think One AJMAL is enough to tackle Yuvi, Raina and Rohit! ... I think Indian should come up with some strategy against Afridi

  • on March 20, 2014, 15:44 GMT

    both raina and yuvraj have been dropped from odis in asia cup but in warm ups , they both look in good touch. that will definitely boost indias middle order. Openers Dhawan and Sharma ( if playing) has been a concern.

  • Temuzin on March 20, 2014, 15:28 GMT

    AsherCA , If your core bowlers (Shami, Bhuvi, Ashwin & Jadeja) need improvement since 12 months that means they are absolutely useless. You have not benched any of these 4 to give an alternate a decent run during the period.

    That means Dhoni is not sure if the alternates ar eany better than the one in the team. They are not good enough to be even tried.

  • Nampally on March 20, 2014, 15:23 GMT

    @ramz.30380: Sir, Rohit is not performing as a "Converted" opener in T20 & he is such a talented batsman. Ashwin has played well at all positions & even scored a Century from #7 or 8 spot. He was an opening batsman in the domestic cricket & did well. His footwork is so sound & he hits the ball well with straight bat. If I had to change the line up in this powerful Indian batting, that is one spot which needs production at a fast rate. Uttappa was the "real opener". Since he is not in the squad, India is experimenting with the opening spot. Ashwin will be only too happy to open. In t20 even an off spinner may be opening the bowling. Ashwin will not necessarily see pace bowlers. In T20 every dot ball in batting acts against you. Just see how many dot balls Rohit plays & judge for yourselves. In the power play overs India needs> 7 runs/over. Indian openers have struggled to get 4 runs/over in SL game. In T20 every guy is keen to contribute - so the question of "pressure" is a Myth!

  • Temuzin on March 20, 2014, 15:23 GMT

    I hope they are not including Mishi. He was hit all over the park. It has been his story. He comes in bowls good in one ar two matches then gets thrashed all over. He should be selected only in one match per series, most preferably first match. He will be good.

  • on March 20, 2014, 15:14 GMT

    I am not against Rohit, but we have a good T20 opener in form of Ajinkya, use him as opener. Rohit can be played as a middle order batsman, If 7 batsman are required. Ajinkya, Shikhar, Kohli, Yuvi, Raina, Dhoni, Jadeja, Ashwin, Bhuvi/ Mishra/Aaron, Shami will be a interesting team

  • on March 20, 2014, 15:00 GMT

    I am disheartened & disappointed to hear Dhoni saying that our batting is alright ! And commenting on the need for Bowlers to improve.

    We do have a problem with openers in BOTH batting and bowling.

    With Rohit as an opener, we start with a major handicap. It had been the case in most of the internationals, since he started to open.

    If he continue as opener, we are going to miss the semis, this time too. Or, other batsman have to take the additional pressure to offset the wasted overs of Rohit.

    I tend to agree with Nampally about trying out Ashwin as an opener. He had batted as an opener before he was picked for India. He also has better technique than some of the regular batsmen. If he starts as an opener, there will be adequate time for him to rest, before India's turn comes to bowl. If India fields first also, he wouldn't be bowling the death overs. If Ashwin is used as a wicket taker, he would have finished his 4 overs by then.

    Prahakar had done that.

    Otherwise, use Kohli.

  • on March 20, 2014, 14:57 GMT

    Played IPL for 6 years. Still no good openers after Sehwag and Gambhir.

  • on March 20, 2014, 14:57 GMT

    Rohit is not fit opener for indian team, better get back sehwag or gambir in the team

  • on March 20, 2014, 14:48 GMT

    I really like the idea of Ashwin opening the innings with Dhawan. Make Rohit bat at No.3, kohli 4, Yuvraj 5, Raina 6 and Dhoni 7.. Great .

  • on March 20, 2014, 14:46 GMT

    Wish Indians would have selected Robin in the team....

  • JontyG on March 20, 2014, 14:36 GMT

    Considering Indians as the best in batting, we should bat 2nd. Consider Kohli and MSD - the best finishers in the business.

    I would prefer Aaron for Bhuvi, as Aaron has pace and did well in the 1st warm up match against SL and was decent with 1 over he bowled against the English. Mishy was hit all over the park.

    Rohit, Dhawan,UV,Kohli,Raina and MSD - 6 batsmen Binny, Jadeja, Ashwin - 3 All rounders Aaron and Shami - 2 Fast bowlers

    That's my preferred team against Pak.

  • AsherCA on March 20, 2014, 14:29 GMT

    If your core bowlers (Shami, Bhuvi, Ashwin & Jadeja) need improvement since 12 months that means they are absolutely useless. You have not benched any of these 4 to give an alternate a decent run during the period. Which means you are sure they are good enough to bowl for you.

    Don't waste time talking nonsense that your own actions keep belying.

    Our observations about the Indian cricket team's performance during the last 12 months or so -

    1) Batsmen have been guilty of dropping sitters (making the bowlers look worse & you have refused to take them to task publicly, they way you are going after the bowlers) ! 2) You have refused to give the alternates a reasonable run.

    Also - almost every Indian innings in the last year or so, there are at least 2 / 3 batsmen guilty of hara-kiri but get no blame for the low scores. Instead of publishing lies against the bowlers, tell the batsmen to earn their salaries & India wil start winning.

  • Herath-UK on March 20, 2014, 14:20 GMT

    The good thing in being in a group like this is one loss or even two or more really does not matter & you still have a chance because you know the winner may fail against the other teams whereas you can plan to win over those teams. In a less strong group if you lose to the other biggie in the group that's the end because other two teams are there just to make up the number. So whoever wins here tomorrow just cannot make a big deal out of it. If Sri Lanka can win over the SAs it can be fairly sure of proceeding so.

  • Ishfaqkhan.jk on March 20, 2014, 14:20 GMT

    Who says india has weak bowling if u look at their record they are a good bowling unit but ya i agree that they don't hav pace battry who can deliver in forign countries and most importantly they don't hav deapth bowling spaclists like malinga,gul,waqar,johnson,akran,lee,styn,morkel. Wat is arhwin dng he like an odinary bowler plz bring rishi dawan, parviz rasool, karan sharma, pankaj, sidharth etc.

  • ramz30380 on March 20, 2014, 14:18 GMT

    @Namapally - I have great respect for ur words as I have been active in this forum and I've observed that u are one of the very few who is always sensible in commenting.....

    But are u serious abt Ashwin opening the batting?! I mean I know that he is far more comfortable against pace bowling than some proper batsmen in the Indian line-up - his batting prowess in South African, Australian and NZ pitches will stand testimony to that.... but will it be fair to put additional pressure on him to open the innings apart from bowling his 4 overs?!

  • on March 20, 2014, 14:18 GMT

    If batting is good and bowling is weak then you get another specialist bowler at the expense of a batsman. It is all about optimization. Dhoni keeps saying batting is good and then keep going with 7 batsman two all rounders and two bowlers. I don't think Indian batting is good. It is just that there are too many of them.

  • aashrit on March 20, 2014, 14:17 GMT

    Mr Dhoni I am a big fan of your's, However dissapointed about your recent decisions, like unwilling to experiment with opening partnership.whole world can see Dhawan is not consistant and Rohit is pure faiure as a opening batsmen. these two are not at all contributing in batting and yet getting luxury of more chances. And in bowling we are fed up seeing Bhuvi again & again inspite of failures, Also no matter what you always include ashwin who easily occupies one place in the playing 11. If you continue to include all these errors a small kid can tell you that india has got no chance in this tournament.

    Since 2014 no wins at all still we are persisting with same 11, whole india & past experts are shouting what needs to be done but i think nobody cares. Shame on BCCI we Fans should be boycotting if this pathetic things continues.

  • on March 20, 2014, 14:16 GMT

    Dhoni talking abt good start with Rohith opening?????? It can happen only in a blue moon day...

  • ramz30380 on March 20, 2014, 14:12 GMT

    My Indian XI for Pakistan match - Rohit, Dhawan, Raina, Virat, Yuvi, MSD, SRJ, Ashwin, Mishra, Bhuvi and Shami...

    Ind shud take care to have one left hander at least in the crease - as lefties tend to play Saeed Ajmal better...

  • waqas-mazhar on March 20, 2014, 14:11 GMT

    Pakistan being a very good bowling are side is on the better side

  • Iceman29 on March 20, 2014, 14:06 GMT

    what about the openers, why dont anyone talk about them...they are the main culprits more than the bowlers...India loosing most of the matches because of bad starts not mainly due to bowling

  • Sankarasubramanian on March 20, 2014, 14:03 GMT

    I dont know the reason Y still Dhoni is not giving chance to Yuvraj for bowling even in a warm up game. He is a good spinner who can bowl 2-3 overs in a spin friendly pitches and take 1-2 wickets which will be helpful when our fast bowlers go for runs...

  • suru4u on March 20, 2014, 13:57 GMT

    Death over is really a concern,hope Dhoni figure it out as tournament progress.. All the best Men in Blue.

  • Nampally on March 20, 2014, 13:57 GMT

    I would agree that Raina's performance in both the practice matches was outstanding. But Yuvraj was all at sea against pace bowlers. I would question him batting at #4. He should go down #6 or 7. Kohli & Dhawan have to score big & consistently in addition to Raina, Dhoni & Yuvraj. Rohit Sharma is a liability as an opener & let Ashwin open the innings & Rohit go lower down. In the bowling department Shami & Kumar were very expensive. The spinners Raina, Ashwin & jadeja bowled well & have to keep performing. Binny was not tested despite his big reputation as T20 specialist. It is a day to day event where each of the 120 balls must be made to count by both Batsmen & Bowlers. Catches have to be taken + Runs saved. Bowlers have to focus on dot balls & Batsmen avoid dot balls. Which ever side does this best wins the day & the match. That is as simple as that. Lets go India. All the best in the first match that will set the tone.

  • baji003 on March 20, 2014, 13:53 GMT

    Main concern for india is opening pair & fast bowlers., if these two understand and perfom well., india can beat any team., as far as now spinners are doing well even though giving away few runs.,

  • wolf777 on March 20, 2014, 13:46 GMT

    There is no proof that the short ball ghost is not haunting Raina and one match does not prove anything for Yuvraj Singh. The jury is still out on both of these players as they have not faced genuine quick bowlers so far.

  • on March 20, 2014, 13:46 GMT

    Batting is never been a worry for India, its all about there weak bowling

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  • on March 20, 2014, 13:46 GMT

    Batting is never been a worry for India, its all about there weak bowling

  • wolf777 on March 20, 2014, 13:46 GMT

    There is no proof that the short ball ghost is not haunting Raina and one match does not prove anything for Yuvraj Singh. The jury is still out on both of these players as they have not faced genuine quick bowlers so far.

  • baji003 on March 20, 2014, 13:53 GMT

    Main concern for india is opening pair & fast bowlers., if these two understand and perfom well., india can beat any team., as far as now spinners are doing well even though giving away few runs.,

  • Nampally on March 20, 2014, 13:57 GMT

    I would agree that Raina's performance in both the practice matches was outstanding. But Yuvraj was all at sea against pace bowlers. I would question him batting at #4. He should go down #6 or 7. Kohli & Dhawan have to score big & consistently in addition to Raina, Dhoni & Yuvraj. Rohit Sharma is a liability as an opener & let Ashwin open the innings & Rohit go lower down. In the bowling department Shami & Kumar were very expensive. The spinners Raina, Ashwin & jadeja bowled well & have to keep performing. Binny was not tested despite his big reputation as T20 specialist. It is a day to day event where each of the 120 balls must be made to count by both Batsmen & Bowlers. Catches have to be taken + Runs saved. Bowlers have to focus on dot balls & Batsmen avoid dot balls. Which ever side does this best wins the day & the match. That is as simple as that. Lets go India. All the best in the first match that will set the tone.

  • suru4u on March 20, 2014, 13:57 GMT

    Death over is really a concern,hope Dhoni figure it out as tournament progress.. All the best Men in Blue.

  • Sankarasubramanian on March 20, 2014, 14:03 GMT

    I dont know the reason Y still Dhoni is not giving chance to Yuvraj for bowling even in a warm up game. He is a good spinner who can bowl 2-3 overs in a spin friendly pitches and take 1-2 wickets which will be helpful when our fast bowlers go for runs...

  • Iceman29 on March 20, 2014, 14:06 GMT

    what about the openers, why dont anyone talk about them...they are the main culprits more than the bowlers...India loosing most of the matches because of bad starts not mainly due to bowling

  • waqas-mazhar on March 20, 2014, 14:11 GMT

    Pakistan being a very good bowling are side is on the better side

  • ramz30380 on March 20, 2014, 14:12 GMT

    My Indian XI for Pakistan match - Rohit, Dhawan, Raina, Virat, Yuvi, MSD, SRJ, Ashwin, Mishra, Bhuvi and Shami...

    Ind shud take care to have one left hander at least in the crease - as lefties tend to play Saeed Ajmal better...

  • on March 20, 2014, 14:16 GMT

    Dhoni talking abt good start with Rohith opening?????? It can happen only in a blue moon day...