Thursday, September 13, 2012

The youngsters are hungry for more: Dhoni

COLOMBO, September 12, 2012

India lies in the bottom half of the ICC Twenty20 rankings table, but captain M.S. Dhoni feels this hardly matters in the shortest format of the game.

"It's a very different format. You have to be innovative. You have to play smart and, at the same time, bold cricket," Dhoni said.

"It's about playing good cricket that day for three-and-a-half hours… actually it is not even three-and-a-half hours. One good innings from an individual can take the game away from the opposition. Anything can happen.

"You just hope to be consistent and good throughout the tournament, especially in the knockout stages. Maybe, in the league stages, you can have a bad game. But, in the knockout stages if you have a bad game, you will be going home," he said.

The ICC T20 World Cup is quite different to the Indian Premier League (IPL) since most of the teams which take part in it are much more balanced sides. "Apart from the format, the IPL and T20 World Cup are slightly different… playing in the IPL does help. The good thing is that most of our batsmen and bowlers have played a lot of T20 cricket. Which means they know how to execute a plan well," said Dhoni.

What else is left to achieve for Dhoni, who has led India to the world T20 title as well as the ICC World Cup (50-over format)?

"I don't mind repeating it," quipped Dhoni. "We have a very good side. That's a big positive for us. I feel the youngsters who have come into the side are really hungry for more. They want to do well for the country," added the Indian skipper.

Practice game

Pakistan captain Mohammad Hafeez said he was looking forward to the practice match against India ahead of the tournament. In his opinion, playing against India was always a high-pressure game and it would be good if the team got the experience beforehand.

The Pakistan players were part of the Sri Lanka Premier League in August and the experience would come in handy, he added.

Asked about Pakistan's chances in Group D, the Group of Death which also has New Zealand and Bangladesh, Hafeez said his team would play hard and hope for the best.
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