Dhoni relieved to have quality death bowlers

MS Dhoni (Gallo Images)
MS Dhoni (Gallo Images)

Kolkata - India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni said on Tuesday that having bowlers specifically for the final stages of a match has contributed to his team winning 10 of 11 games in the run-up to the World Twenty20.

"Over the last few years it was a question of who will bowl in the end overs," the wicketkeeper-batsman said at a news conference. "It's a relief to have specific bowlers for the death overs as 99 percent of the time now I know who will be bowling. The job becomes easy. I don't have to put in a lot of effort."

The return of veteran pace bowler Ashish Nehra and fine seam bowling from rookies Jasprit Bumrah and all-rounder Hardik Pandya have given Dhoni options for the final overs with the likes of lead spinner Ravichandran Ashwin and Yuvraj Singh also experienced in the format.

"I feel the team is settled, all departments are settled. The kind of stuff we are doing is good for any level of the game. Our intensity has to be there from the start but we are happy at the way we have progressed," Dhoni added.

India won the Asia Cup last week to cap a fine T20 run that included a 3-0 win in Australia in January.

Dhoni, who has led India to victories in all three ICC tournaments - the World Twenty20 in 2007, the World Cup in 2011 and the Champions Trophy in 2013, said his team is not planning too far ahead.

"Expectations can get you (under) pressure. We've prepared well but once you get to the knockout stage, you have to be at the top of your game. Every team has two or three players who can win matches single-handedly so it's not right to think too far ahead," Dhoni added.

India, which has a formidable batting lineup that includes the likes of Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Suresh Raina, Dhoni and Yuvraj, plays its first match against New Zealand in Nagpur on March 15.

Pakistan, Australia and a qualifier from a preliminary league that started Tuesday, complete their Group 2 of the Super 10 stage.

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