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HindustanTimes Tue,21 Oct 2014
India look to further the learning curve in Zimbabwe
Somshuvra Laha, Hindustan Times
Port-of-Spain, July 13, 2013
First Published: 02:01 IST(13/7/2013)
Last Updated: 02:39 IST(13/7/2013)

MS Dhoni couldn’t stop smiling after Thursday’s post-match media interaction. “It’s time for a vacation,” he said. That however doesn’t mean an end of the grind for India.

What started in the Champions Trophy has continued here as well. In a few days, India travel to Zimbabwe with a new-look squad and a different captain, but expectations will not be different. Even though Dhoni and a few other players won’t be a part of that series, the skipper will keep an eye on how the team copes in foreign conditions again.

New faces
The squad to Zimbabwe is going to be different from the one here. Apart from Dhoni, Ishant Sharma, R Ashwin, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Umesh Yadav will be rested. The new faces include Parvez Rasool, Jaidev Unadkat, Mohit Sharma, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane and Shami Ahmed, who got just one game in this tournament.

“The thing is we are going with a fresh bowling attack. There is quite a bit of experience but not the same if you compare it with the current bowlers we have got,” said Dhoni when asked about the upcoming tour.

“I think they will get assistance over there so it will be good exposure and we will have a bigger bench of fast bowlers that we can test over there,” said Dhoni.

Stern test
The biggest test will be for Virat Kohli who will lead the team in an entire series for the first time. But Dhoni expressed confidence in him. “I think Virat has done well. He has done a good job with the youngsters and has been moving in the right direction,” he said.

Having led the Royal Challengers Bangalore in the Indian domestic Twenty20 league, Virat is no stranger to captaincy, but this is a completely different level. “I need to set the right example for people watching me. It’s important not to show people that you need to be aggressive or verbal to lead the team,” said Virat. “It’s also important to keep composure. That is one thing I have learnt from the captain.

Virat felt the current team was destined for bigger things. “What I see is a great bond among players, great friendship on the field. That reflects on how we play. We have a bunch of guys who want to prove their mettle and take responsibilities. That is the most exciting thing a team could have,” he said.


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