Time away from cricket has helped Dhoni to reinvent himself | india | Hindustan Times
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Time away from cricket has helped Dhoni to reinvent himself

The first match is always crucial and looking at the group India are in, every win will make a difference as there are strong teams in that group. Winning the first game takes a lot of nerves away and hopefully it will calm down the boys before they take on the other contenders.

india Updated: Mar 23, 2014 01:08 IST

The first match is always crucial and looking at the group India are in, every win will make a difference as there are strong teams in that group. Winning the first game takes a lot of nerves away and hopefully it will calm down the boys before they take on the other contenders.

Pakistan have always had a good T20 record in the World Cup, they are probably one of the most consistent sides in the history of T20 World Cups but they must understand that they were simply outplayed by India.

There is no shame in being beaten by a good side on that day, it is still early days in the tournament and this wake-up call will allow Pakistan to come back better. But they will have to look at their batting and need to get stronger there.

They were also taken by surprise by the wicket. The Mirpur deck had extra bounce and they did not change their game early on in their innings. Their young batters should take a leaf out of Virat Kohli's book, the way he played in the second half. Good batting is not always about one's ability, it's also about accepting the situation and adjusting your game accordingly.

For India, it was a perfect day. I had mentioned that I saw some good signs in the warm-up games and if they continue to play this way, they will be serious contenders.

India take on the West Indies today and with the ball turning, Dhoni and his boys will be tough to beat. Remember the Champions Trophy in England last year, where the ball spun and India did not drop a game. The bowling attack becomes a wicket-taking one for India as the ball turns and I have a good feeling about this tournament.

West Indies will be a stronger opposition then Pakistan. They have done well in the warm-up games and have a balanced team. But they will also have to play differently if they are to compete with India. The likes of Narine and Badree will enjoy the conditions but it's the West Indies batting which will have to deliver against India's bowling.

India were bold to go in with three spinners against Pakistan, and if the pitches continue to turn, they will be a massive threat. Also, Dhoni as a skipper was very good. Sometimes breaks help and he got an opportunity to reinvent himself. He also enjoys the shorter format and looks a lot more pro-active.

The writer is a former India captain