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Dhoni defends Chawla's selection

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Published: Wednesday, January 19, 2011, 9:58 [IST]
 
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Dhoni defends Chawla's selection

Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni has defended Piyush Chawla's inclusion in India's 15-man World Cup squad, pointing to the fact that the legspinner's presence will provide variety to the attack.

"It is good to have Piyush in the side as he provides that variety to the attack. He is one guy who can bat a bit. He has scored decent runs in Ranji and also while playing in County circuit. If we plan to play with five bowlers, then he can be a handy number seven or eight batsman," Dhoni said on the eve of India's third ODI against South Africa here.

Chawla has been picked despite not playing a one-dayer since July 2008, something taht Dhoni iw well aware of.

"I would always say that playing in first class match or IPL match and playing in the international match is different. Piyush needs that international match practice," the India skipper said.

For the likes of Sreesanth and Rohit Sharam who didn't make the final 15, Dhoni had some words of advice and comfort.

"Finally you can pick only 15 players. It is not like that you will not get chance. Have a look at the players out here. They were not featuring in the original list. At the end of the day you can pick only 15 players and somebody is going to miss out. So I would say that you should do well in whenever you get to play and then wait for your chance."

Dhoni said India need to improve their fielding and focus more on bowling at the death.

"We have to improve in the fielding department. If we get one odd run out or take few outstanding catch, it can turn the course of the game. At the same time we have to put in lot of thoughts and work on bowling in the death overs. When we are going to play in the sub continent, bowling in the death becomes crucial," he said.

In Sachin Tendulkar's absence, Virat Kohli, in all likelihood, will open with Murali Vijay, with Rohit Sharma coming in at number three in Tuesday's match, Dhoni said.

"We will be looking out for giving a few players an opportunity. Even otherwise we have lost quite a few players through injury. We have seven batsmen left here, so all of them will get exposure before the World Cup."

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