India can defend Twenty20 title: Dhoni
Indian skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni said his team can retain the Twenty20 World Cup starting in England from June 5. "I've got a bunch of players with outstanding talent and if we play to our potential we can defend our title," Dhoni said.cricket Updated: May 29, 2009 21:09 IST
Indian cricket captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni said on Friday his team can retain the Twenty20 World Cup starting in England from June 5.
"I've got a bunch of players with outstanding talent and if we play to our potential we can defend our title," Dhoni told reporters here before the team left for England on Friday.
"We will give our best and each player in the team wants t're going to give it our best shot. Each player wants to do something special," said Dhoni, under whose leadership India won the inaugural Twenty20 World Cup in South Africa in 2007.
"Being the defending champions will not put any additional pressure on us. It's just an add-on pressure and we can handle it," said Dhoni. "One cannot keep thinking about the results. We can only focus on our preparation."
Dhoni also said that his pace bowling spearhead Zaheer Khan hasn't recovered fully from the shoulder injury he picked up while playing for Mumbai Indians in the Indian Premier League (IPL).
"Zaheer is not 100 percent fit now, but I am hopeful he will be available for our first match," Dhoni said.
Dhoni said that the experience of playing in the IPL will help his team mates to get accustomed to pressure situations.
"The IPL has really helped young players get accustomed to pressure situations, and international cricket is all about handling pressure," Dhoni said. "I'm not worried about the batting or bowling form of my players. My only worry is that players don't get injured."
India will play two warm-up games - against New Zealand (Monday) and against Pakistan (Wednesday) before playing against their opening game in the tournament against Bangladesh, June 6. The proceeds from their practice game against Pakistan will be donated towards those who were injured or lost their lives during the attack on the Sri Lankan team bus by militants in Lahore in March.
Indian squad: Mahendra Singh Dhoni (captain), Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir, Suresh Raina, Yuvraj Singh, Rohit Sharma, Yusuf Pathan, Irfan Pathan, Ravindra Jadeja, Harbhajan Singh, Praveen Kumar, Zaheer Khan, Rudra Pratap Singh, Pragyan Ojha and Ishant Sharma