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Dhoni FINALLY admits bowling is an area of concern!

Last updated on: March 20, 2014 23:01 IST

Dhoni FINALLY admits bowling is an area of concern!

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India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni expressed concern over the team's bowling at the death ahead of Friday's opening match against Pakistan in the ICC World T20.

"Bowling is an area of concern compared to batting.

"Getting off to a good start is important as it will help us get 10 to 15 runs more than the par-score. Our aim will be to do well in death bowling and also bat well, and we will have a good chance [in the tournament]," he said on Thursday, the eve of the team's opening group league match.

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Image: MS Dhoni
Photographs: Anthony Au-Yeung/Getty Images

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'IPL experience will come handy for the bowlers'

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He said the likes Mohammed Shami and Bhuvneshwar Kumar have not played a lot of T20 Internationals, but the IPL experience will certainly come handy for them.

"Agreed, they haven't played a lot of T20 International cricket but the experience in IPL will help them a lot. We would want the bowlers to get one or two wickets with the new ball; their job will be much easier," Dhoni said.

While he was happy about Yuvraj Singh and Suresh Raina’s form, he was non-committal about sending Ajinkya Rahane up the order.

"Overall, we have achieved a lot during the two practice games. The idea was to give the guys some fair time in the middle. Yuvi and Raina contributed in bowling."

About Rahane opening, he said, "That's under consideration. You will have to wait and watch."

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Image: Bhuvneshwar Kumar
Photographs: Anthony Au-Yeung/Getty Images

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'Gul is a fantastic bowler'

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The skipper agreed that Pakistan will be boosted by the presence of a few genuine all-rounders in their team.

"Playing proper all-rounders always adds to the strength of a side. If you have players who are equally capable with bat and ball, one can play more than five bowlers and still have the same batting strength," he opined.

Among the rival bowlers, pacer Umar Gul and wily spinner Saeed Ajmal came in for special praise.

"Umar Gul is a fantastic bowler. I remember during the 2007 ICC World T20, he would be introduced in the 11th or 12th over and bowl till the end. Having said that, they have other fast bowlers also who are equally dangerous."

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Image: Umar Gul
Photographs: Graham Crouch/Getty Images

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'Ajmal is a bowler against whom you can never score freely'

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Dhoni conceded that it is difficult to score freely against mystery spinner Saeed Ajmal.

"Ajmal is a bowler against whom you can never score freely. It's also the manner how they have used him (Ajmal) to stop batsmen from scoring runs in the slog overs. They gave him an over in the first six (Powerplay) and then couple of overs in the middle. If you see, on an average, all countries have had difficulty in facing Ajmal," he explained.

India are clubbed with Pakistan, the West Indies and Australia in the group, which makes the challenge tough. He wants to win every game to ensure a smooth passage to the last four.

"We have to do well in each and every match. If you look at the last World T20 in Sri Lanka, we lost one match (vs Australia) and were knocked out of the tournament.

"It is a tough group. Also you have to realize that in this format, the difference between a good team and a not so good team is very less. I believe even they have the talent to upset big sides.

"It depends on what kind of cricket you play on that particular day," he added.


Image: Saeed Ajmal bowls to Yuvraj Singh
Photographs: Philip Brown/Reuters

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