India has ingredients to win Asia Cup, World T20: Dhoni

Kolkata, Feb 21 (IANS) India’s limited overs skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni on Sunday said his 15-member squad selected for the Asia Cup and World Twenty20 has the ingredients and talent to win the two big upcoming tournaments.

“Yes (India can win World T20). I have the belief that we have the talent required to win a big tournament. This team has all the ingredients but what will be important is to keep the team fit and try to give as many games to all the individuals who are part of the side,” Dhoni said in his press conference before departure for the Asia Cup in Bangladesh.

“But that will depend on where we are positioned in the tournament, in Asia Cup especially. After that we have two games before the World T20 starts. If everyone gets a chance, it will be good for the team.”

India team departs on Sunday for Bangladesh where they will play the Asia Cup, being played in the T20 format for the first time. The tournament will be played from February 24 to March 6 with all matches being held at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur.

Following the tournament, India will return home to take part in the all-important World T20, which will be played across seven cities from March 15 to April 3.

“Two (World T20) warm-up games — we will definitely try to play all 15. Ultimately, you have to do well in the field. In this format, you have to keep the big hitters away. If a team has two big hitters, especially in a knockout, you have to ensure they don’t score runs. If they do, they can take the game away from you,” said the 34-year-old.

India go into the Asia Cup without pacer Mohammed Shami, who is still nursing an injury. Shami was recently replaced by swing bowler Bhuvneshwar Kumar.

“We have to announce the 15-member squad a month before the tournament. Now it is on you if you want to pick a guy who can get fit before the tournament. You might not pick him and then you see somebody like a Shami 100 percent fit in 10 days time. That’s why he was selected,” said the 2007 World T20-winning skipper.

“He has to prove his fitness and if he isn’t fit then we have replacements waiting. He has been one bowler who has bowled well for us, be it upfront or at the death, so that was considered. If he gets fit, the bowling attack looks much better.”

The skipper has time and again promoted himself up the batting order in One-Day Internationals (ODI) but insisted he will not be doing the same in the next two events unless there is a major need.

“If it is a normal scenario, there would not be any need for me to bat up the order. We are a good batting side. But, of course, if you have a partnership and everybody is doing well till the 18th over, then I may promote myself. Other than that, I don’t see myself giving myself a promotion,” said the 34-year-old.

Asked if his captaincy has changed over the years and if he does things differently now, Dhoni said, “I have not changed as a captain. I am 100 percent the same that I used to be. There are no changes in my captaincy.”

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