India’s strategy in the ICC World Twenty20 will largely hinge on its blue-chip batsmen as the bowling remains an area of concern.
This was made amply clear by M.S. Dhoni at a press conference here on Tuesday.
“If you compare our batting to our bowling, we find the bowling is slightly weaker, but still we have got experienced bowlers who can do the needful. We are looking to play seven batsmen to start off the tournament,” the India skipper said.
Dhoni, though, did hint at flexibility in plans: “It means the part-timers will have to do a really good job so that we can sustain with those seven batsmen. If we still find our bowling a bit weak, (then) we will have to go with six batters and five bowlers.”
The captain felt the batsmen acquitted themselves well in the warm-up games against Sri Lanka and Pakistan but refused to talk big about his team’s chances against Afghanistan.
“We are going good. Yes, (in the warm-ups) we won one and lost one, but overall, it gave some exposure to some of our bowlers as to what needs to be done. At the same time, we don’t rate any side lightly, be it Afghanistan or any other side,” said Dhoni.
The skipper also drew heart from Yuvraj Singh’s comeback and Rohit Sharma’s runs in recent games.
“It’s all about putting up a fight. Yuvraj looks fit, especially for this short format. He is not 100% fit for Test cricket right now but he is fully fit for this format. We are hoping he will come good.
“Rohit is someone who can get a lot more scores. I felt that in the last two practice games, he gave himself a bit of time and then played the big shots. We all know once he gets in and is set, he can play all around the park,” Dhoni said.
Asked about the ideal score in these conditions, Dhoni said: “If the wicket is very flat and quite hard, it means we will have to score over 160 or 170 but at the same time if it is a normal Sri Lankan wicket, 160 can also be a very good score.”
Afghanistan captain Nawroz Mangal said his team was confident about its face-off against India.
“We have trained well and the exposure in this tournament is part of our learning process.
“We have batted well against spinners like Saeed Ajmal and Sunil Narine and we have done our homework on R. Ashwin too,” Mangal said and added that injured seamer Hamid Hassan would miss Wednesday’s match.