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Dhoni is the most assured and relaxed captain: Imran

February 11, 2011 10:29 IST

India's Mahendra Singh Dhoni is the most assured, relaxed and confident captain going into the forthcoming World Cup, according to former Pakistan captain Imran Khan. 

The former great said India's biggest strength is their captain who has the respect of his players. 

"He is the most assured and relaxed captain in this tournament and he has the respect of his players. He is also a very astute tactician and a matchwinner on his day," Imran said on the Geo Super channel. 

Imran, who led Pakistan to the title in 1992 World Cup, said India are the clear favorites to win the title on current form. That they are one of the co-hosts only adds to it. 

"On the sub-continental wickets their batting will be a powerhouse. They have two quality bowlers in Zaheer Khan and Harbhajan Singh and have taken a very wise decision by including leg-spinner Piyush Chawla in their bowling line-up," he said.

Imran KhanDescribing Virender Sehwag and Yusuf Pathan as two of the cleanest and most powerful hitters in the game today, Imran said the two had the potential to destroy any side. 

"They have immense ability to hit the ball and once they get going it is difficult to stop them. And given the superior quality of the bats today they become a dangerous pair." 

Imran, however, pointed out that Sehwag demonstrated very little foot movement and is vulnerable to the incoming ball.

"That is his only weakness because he plays the outgoing ball well as he is very good at the cut shot. But I think to contain him you need to bring the ball into his pads. Probably the best bowler against him would have been Mohammad Asif." 

The former skipper felt India had so much talent at their disposal that they would find it hard to select the eleven.  

"I think on the sub-continental wickets teams would be better served playing an extra bowler. In March the weather is hot and by experience I know that pitches at this time of the year are very flat in India and terrific for batting." 

The cricketer-turned-politician also said that Zaheer and Harbhajan would play key roles for India. 

"They are their best bowlers and I think Zaheer is in the best bowling form of his life. He has the ability to reverse swing and move the ball both ways. While Harbhajan will be crucial to India's chances as he comes into bowl at a very crucial time and is capable of taking wickets and also containing," Imran said. 

The former captain is also excited about the prospects of watching Chawla in action. "I have always believed it is essential to have a leg-spinner in one-day cricket because they are attacking bowlers. India have taken a wise decision to pick the leg-spinner and he will give them the edge over the non-Asian teams."

Imran also said that the dew factor would play a key role in the tournament. "Mark my words it is my prediction the dew factor will be crucial in deciding matches in this tournament. In day night matches teams batting second will always have a huge advantage."

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