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HindustanTimes Sat,16 Aug 2014
World T20: Warm-up games can do wonders to India's morale
Sourav Ganguly
March 17, 2014
First Published: 01:14 IST(17/3/2014)
Last Updated: 01:17 IST(17/3/2014)

Warm-up matches are a key to the start of the tournament and these will help Dhoni to get the boys going mentally. The matches are even more important when one goes overseas but nonetheless it should provide an opportunity for the young team to get the confidence back which has been dented by the recent performances.

India should put their mind back to the Champions Trophy last year when they won all the warm-up games prior to the start and looked a different team in the competition. Confidence can make an ordinary player look good and greats like the masses. As much as I understand that the results here will not have a bearing on the World Cup, it might just do wonders to the team.

It will also provide an opportunity for Dhoni to find a different way to play the T20 format. Their batting in these conditions is power packed and if they get going, they will be a hard side to beat.

It is time Dhoni looks at himself in this format. It is hard to believe that with his match-winning abilities, he does not have a fifty in this format. This is more because of the position he bats in and has limited his role to a finisher.

He must realise that even for good teams, which India are, it's important to play differently at times and maybe he can get that surprise element going in this tournament.

Weak bowling
He must also realise that his bowling is weak and maybe he has to cover up with the batting and runs on the board. It's an important tournament for Yuvraj and Raina as well. They are strong players in this format and their inclusion is an added strength.

India's worry is their bowling. There will always be a case of an extra spinner in sub-continent conditions but Dhoni will have to get cover for the first and last five overs, which have hurt India the most. So it's important that he gets the likes of Shami and Aaron going and get them to understand the importance of their role in the death overs. Bhuvneshwar has been good with the new ball but at times his lack of pace with the old ball has made the bowling vulnerable under pressure. Hopefully, the management will think about this aspect and get cover for him, especially on flat wickets.

The writer is a former India skipper


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