Right time to mould team for World Cup: Dhoni

Published: Thursday, August 31, 2006, 23:53 [IST]
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Chennai: Dashing India stumper, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, said he was all for experimentation to evolve the right combination and balance in the team next year's World Cup.

''It is done to get the correct combination, the Jharkhand-lad said, answering a range of questions about his own performance and about the Indian team, at a press conference here.

Dhoni, who was asked about the criticism by many former players of the frequent experimentations done by coach Greg Chappell, said such trials cannot be done during the World Cup.

''This is the right time to do it. There is six months of time for the World Cup, he said.

Dhoni said he was looking forward to the busy schedule for the Indian team ahead. ''We will be playing the tri-series in Malaysia followed by the Champions trophy here. Then we have the tour to South Africa,'' he said.

Dhoni said these competitions will help the team to improve the performance level in the run-up to the World Cup.

However, asked about the twenty 20 format of cricket, which India will be playing in South Africa, Dhoni said, ''It is neither for the batsman nor the bowler. It is for the spectators.''

Dhoni also welcomed the conduct of the preparatory camp for the September 12 tri -series, in groups of five players each. ''Every player is given specific attention,'' he said. This approach is to focus on what every player needs to do, Dhoni said, and added the camp held before the abandoned tri-series matches in Sri Lanka was also different especially the commando and army training near Bangalore.

Asked if the dual responsibility of being one of the key batsmen and the wicket keeper was physically demanding on him, Dhoni said he has gotten used to it with experience.

''I treat my tasks separately. When I hold the bat in my hand, I am a batsman for the side. When I put on the gloves I am the wicket-keeper,'' he explained.

When asked whether batting lower down the older was proving to be a hurdle for him to go for big scores, Dhoni said he sets himself different targets batting at different slots in the order. '' If I go seven or eight down, I give myself a target of 35 or 40'', he added.

Asked whether he was concerned that the slow nature of wickets in the West Indies for the 2007 World Cup, might curtail his shot making, Dhoni said, ''We are trying to simulate similar wickets in India, close to what we would be getting in the West Indies.'' ''But the wickets in West Indies were not two paced or of uneven bounce as in Sri Lanka,'' he pointed out.

Dhoni welcomed the return of Sachin Tendulkar to the side. ''He is incomparable. He is a great team man. Just watching him bat is enough. You can learn everything,'' he said.

Dhoni also complimented Rahul Dravid's approach to captaincy.

'' He is calm and composed and listens to everybody. He allows his teammates to give their views,'' he said.

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