Kingston, Jun 19: Back after a rejuvenating break, but Indian skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni is already a worried man as his pacers are struggling to be fit for the long season ahead. "It is important that they are fit or else it will have an impact. It''s not that you are bowling four or 10 overs -- you could be bowling 25 overs, whether be a spinner or a paceman. You want your best bowlers to play and be at least 70-80 per cent fit for the longer format," Dhoni said ahead of the first Test against the West Indies starting, here tomorrow.
"Only then you will have the mental and physical space to achieve it," he added.
India is beset with injury worries ahead of the Test as lately impressive Munaf Patel is suffering from a right elbow injury.
Zaheer Khan and S Sreesanth, originally named in the Test squad, could never accompany the squad here due to injuries.
One of the replacement bowler, Abhimanyu Mithun of Karnataka, is yet to arrive in the Caribbean due to his visa issues.
And as if this was not enough, opener Murali Vijay picked up an injury on his right forefinger in his very first practice session on Friday. He left for an X-ray on his finger yesterday.
India play three Tests in the Caribbean followed by four in England this summer. Later in the season, they visit Australia where four more Tests are slated in their calendar.
The fortnight-long break from international cricket was a welcome one for Dhoni.
"Personally it helped me. Suddenly you find all those small injuries vanish. There is plenty of energy now and it''s now as if you are running on reserves. You are back in action.
"I could have net sessions where I could do my wicketkeeping, batting and bowling for fitness," he said.
"One thing I have never done, whether it was cricket in Ranchi or school, is to sit and think what I have done. May be you reflect on what you need to do to improve but as a cricketer, you need to stick to the basics. You need to have that frame of mind," he added.
Dhoni said neither riches nor fame and glamour have been the motivating factor for him.
"I love cricket, I love sports and that's why you want to turn up in the field everytime. I enjoy the competition against the opponent; always trying to be honest, fair and competitive.
"It''s a basic urge (in me), be it in gully cricket, school or anywhere else. Everybody has the same perception about sport and the same it has been for me; be it gully or international cricket," he said.