Dhoni lauds India’s bench strength before World T20

Pune, Feb. 08 (ANI): Limited-overs skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni has described the current Indian squad as ‘very balanced’ ahead of the three-match series against Sri Lanka and insisted that maintaining fitness will be a crucial factor for his side during next month’s World Twenty20.

“The team looks very balanced now. Of course individuals have to take the responsibility or roles that they have in the side. There are replacements for a few players if they get injured or they go through a lean patch. Other than that the team looks like a team that is very settled,” said Dhoni during a press conference on the eve of the opening match in Pune.

The 34-year-old, who recently led India to a historic series sweep over Australia, also said that they would try out different combinations in both batting and bowling during the series in order to come up with their best performance in the upcoming Asia Cup and the T20 format’s pinnacle event, which begins on March 8.

“We will be focusing on the things which we want to achieve as a side. We will look at the combination and the kind of play we want to achieve. We are not looking too much into the Sri Lankan side. They are always a side that plays good competitive cricket. So I think it will be a good series,” the captain said.

“To keep all the players fit will be very crucial so that best available XI is always available for selection. That will be a key factor,” added Dhoni, who will be without the services of star batsman Virat Kohli in the series.

Meanwhile, Dinesh Chandimal will lead a 15-man second-string Sri Lankan side in the absence of injured skipper Lasith Malinga. The tourists will also miss several first choice players such as Angelo Mathews, Nuwan Kulasekara, Rangana Herath and Nuwan Pradeep due to their respective injuries.

The second match will be played in Ranchi on Friday before the third and final T20 in Visakhapatnam on February 14. (ANI)

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