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Now, Dhoni can afford to smile and also bat for Yuvraj

Last updated on: March 24, 2014 18:11 IST

Now, Dhoni can afford to smile, and also bat for Yuvraj!

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India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni admitted that Yuvraj Singh is "under pressure and not in great touch", but expressed confidence that out-of-form all-rounder will come good in the remaining matches of the World Twenty20.

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"Yuvraj is one of the best players of T20, but, yes, you can say that he is not in great touch at the moment. It becomes tough when you are dropped from ODIs and then you make a comeback in the T20 squad. So there's bit of pressure on him," Dhoni said.

"It's easy to say that it is a short format, but when an individual comes into the squad, there is bound to be pressure on him," he added.

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Image: Mahendra Singh Dhoni acknowledges the applause from crowd
Photographs: Anthony Au-Yeung/Getty Images

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Dhoni confident Yuvraj will regain form

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Yuvraj scored a painstaking 10 off 19 balls during Sunday's seven-wicket victory over the West Indies, but Dhoni defended the left-hander, saying he has the ability to get back in form and win matches for the team.

"It takes one or two matches. Probably, he will get back into flow as we know how good a match-winner he is. He can turn a game on his own. Today, the plan was to have a higher net run-rate, but, at the same time, give Yuvraj a chance to settle his nerves. If he is in flow, Yuvi is a good asset to have," Dhoni added.

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Image: Yuvraj Singh is bowled
Photographs: Andrew Biraj/Reuters
Tags: Dhoni , Yuvi

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'Amit Mishra will get better'

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About Amit Mishra's splendid form, Dhoni said his only advice to the Haryana leggie, who won back-to-back man of the match awards, is to back his strengths.

Asked what were his tips to Mishra, Dhoni smiled and said, "I told him, 'just play!' "

On a serious note, he added: "People bowl or bat according to their strengths. He was feeling a bit of nerves against Pakistan and I went up to him and told him that you are known to turn the ball, flight it and vary the pace. So just don't try to bowl the straighter one.

"During the Pakistan game, I knew he was not bowling his hundred per cent. I knew with that [against Pakistan] man-of-the-match performance, he will get better in the coming matches. He bowled well against Gayle and used the odd variations," Dhoni added.

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Image: Mahendra Singh Dhoni, centre, celebrates after running out Chris Gayle of the West Indies
Photographs: Scott Barbour/Getty Images

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'Bhuvneshwar should bowl in right areas'

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India's skipper was also pleased with Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who bowled a splendid opening spell in which he had 16 dot balls.

"His [Bhuvneshwar] job was to use the new ball well and not give too many loose deliveries. Today there was a bit of help and he was bowling in the right areas. And so that's how he will contribute," Dhoni said.

"Whenever there is a bit of help, he should bowl in right areas. Especially, in this game he bowled brilliantly; he was able to swing the ball, and length was also very crucial."

Dhoni said while Shami is a permanent choice for bowling at the 'death', he is also trying out options to see who among Jadeja, Ashwin and Mishra fit the bill.

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Image: Bhuvneshwar Kumar
Photographs: BCCI

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'I am really happy how the bowlers have performed'

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The 32-year-old turned a bit philosophical when someone remarked that now he can "afford to smile" at his bowlers' performance.

"I still smile when I lose. I know cricket is a big part of our lives, but it is not the only life we lead. Of course, you are disappointed when you lose a game, but there will be times when you won't win,"

"As far as the bowling is concerned, I am really happy how they have performed. Yes, there is a bit of help for them, but, at the same time, you need to execute your plans well. Especially in this format, you have got couple of big hitters in the opposition and you have to carefully plan them out.

"I was really happy that our spinners along with part timers and the fast bowlers have done really well. Still there’s long way to go in the tournament. Still there are two matches left in the league," he said.

Asked about the performance of the Indians fielders, who dropped a few high catches, Dhoni replied: "It is not a problem with the Indian team only. There has been some catches that has been dropped by other teams also. I don't know whether it's a surrounding, but fielders in the deep are finding it difficult to judge the ball.

"I don't know any other reasons, but we need to overcome the problem, because if we drop a big hitter, we might end up giving a lot of runs which will be difficult to chase. It's definitely a problem to some extent, but we don't know whether it's a technical fault or not."


Image: The West Indies' Chris Gayle leaves the field as India's fielders celebrate his dismissal
Photographs: Andrew Biraj/Reuters
Tags: Dhoni

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