‘Good to have Asia Cup in T20 format’

India’s limited-over captain M.S. Dhoni said he would try and give every member of the team a fair share of competitive cricket when it plays the T20 Asia Cup in Dhaka next week.

Chance for everyone: India's limited-over captain M.S. Dhoni said at a pre-departure press conference that he would like all players in the team to have a fair share during the Asia Cup.

Dhoni stressed on the need to have a better-prepared squad ahead of the ICC World T20, which will begin just after the continental competition. He added that it was a good decision to have the Asia Cup in a T20 format as it is easy to switch to Test from T20 but very difficult the other way round.

The captain said the side was getting into a rhythm after the T20 success in Australia and against Sri Lanka at home earlier this month.

“I would like to give everybody a game as it is important to have a settled team ahead of the World T20. The situation there (in Asia Cup), where we would look to win games, will allow us to give everybody the opportunity,” Dhoni said at the pre-departure media conference in Kolkata on Sunday.

Dhoni sounded confident about his team’s chances. “I have the belief that we have the talent required to win a big tournament. This team has all the ingredients, but what will be important is to keep the side fit, and try to give as many games to all the individuals who are part of the team,” said Dhoni.

More scope to settle down

“The good thing is we played three games in Australia. Yes, the conditions were very different there and then we played Sri Lanka here. It is a good thing to convert the Asia Cup into a T20 format as it will give us more scope to settle down as a side,” the Indian captain said.

Insisting that the focus of the side will be to regain the World T20 title which it won first in 2007 under his captaincy, Dhoni said getting the team into shape to face specific challenges was vital.

“Ultimately, you have to do well on the field. In this format, you have to keep the big-hitters away. If a team has two big-hitters, especially in a knock-out situation, you have to ensure they do not score enough runs. If they do, they can take the game away from you,” he said.

Putting team before self, Dhoni said he saw no reason to promote himself in the batting order as there were better hitters in the side. “In a normal scenario, I do not see myself batting up the order. We may try to promote one of the better hitters to get the team batting into shape,” Dhoni said.

Missing Shami

About missing the services of key pacer Mohammed Shami, Dhoni said the team’s bowling looks much sharper when Shami is in the squad.

“He has been one bowler who has bowled well for us, be it upfront or at the death.

“If he gets fit, the bowling attack looks much better and that was taken into consideration,” explained Dhoni on why Shami was initially picked but later replaced by Bhuvneshwar Kumar.

Asked whether his way of captaining the side had undergone any transformation over the years, he said his philosophy was the same and he only changed his tactics according to the playing XI.

“I am 100 per cent the same. You have to set your team according to your playing eleven, but essentially I have retained my philosophy,” he said.