Give Youngsters Time to Settle, Pleads Dhoni


Brisbane, Feb 4: Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni backed his young team and outlined his vision for the 2011 World Cup after the opening game of the tri-series against Australia was washed out in Brisbane on Sunday.

"If we are looking for a team for 2011 World Cup, it's important that we have guys who have played 80-100 matches by then...I think this is the team I wanted," an earnest Dhoni said.

"This is the plan which can succeed it can backfire as well. But they (the youngsters) need the right opportunity and base to perform."

Dhoni was not perturbed that he has given opportunity to his men, selected in place of veterans such as Sourav Ganguly and Rahul Dravid, in conditions as difficult as in Australia.

"It's up to individuals if they succumb to pressure. It's up to them to show courage or perform."

The wicketkeeper-batsman said he picked Manoj Tiwary by instinct ahead of Suresh Raina even though the Bengal youngster arrived in Australia only on Saturday.

"I go by instinct. It doesn't matter that he arrived only yesterday or he didn't have enough practice. It's tough cricket and good ones can adapt quickly," he said.

As for Sunday's game, Dhoni felt it was evenly-poised after his bowlers broke through early.

"After the second break, Ishant (Sharma) and Sreesanth bowled brilliantly in the right areas and troubled the batsmen."

"I think it was evenly-poised. When the rain came, the momentum was with us. But the target was so small, a good innings could have turned the momentum their way."

Dhoni felt his bowlers did not bowl the first two overs well and his side could have also done better in the field.

Batting first in overcast conditions may have raised a few eyebrows and Dhoni admitted the decision could have gone either way.

"It (the decision) was confusing. It was sticky and overcast and we expected it to swing. But it did not swing that much," Dhoni said.

Losing early wickets did not help India's cause, he felt.

"We lost early wickets and Tendulkar's dismissal was unfortunate. However, Gautam Gambhir and Rohit Sharma played really well."

As for his own innings, Dhoni felt if he had got out cheaply, the side could have been bundled out for 150-160 runs.

"I see my position in the side as that of a floater. I can come low down the order and depending on the situation, you could also see me at number three."

The Indian captain is not upset that Australian fans in the stands are giving Harbhajan Singh a hard time.

"I really don't care. Harbhajan feels that it actually is helping him relax," Dhoni added.


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Title: Give Youngsters Time to Settle, Pleads Dhoni

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