Indian skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni is not taking the weak-looking Sri Lankan team lighty for the upcoming 3-match T20I series which will be played in India. India will play their first match in this series on Tuesday at the Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium, Pune.
Most of the experience cricketers have either retired from the international cricket or are given rest from this bilateral series. The Sri Lankan team is currently running in the transition period while Angelo Mathews, Lasith Malinga, Rangana Herath and Nuwan Pradeep have been rested from the series. Actually, Sri Lankan cricket board is giving a chance to the new players keeping in mind the upcoming 2016 World T20.
On the other hand, India is in very good form as they recently beat Australia in T20I by 3-0 in Australia. The top-order is running in very good form. Currently, India are holding the no.1 ranking in T20I.
But still Dhoni is not going over-confident. He said, “What really happens in this format is, the difference between the sides is very narrow. What it boils down to is how good your match winners are playing. You can have only one big hitter in the side but if it’s his day, he can take the game away from you. And it can happen in just 10 or 12 balls.”
Dhoni believes that the no.4 is the best batting order for Suresh Raina in T20I cricket. Dhoni said on this, “I think it will be slightly better if Raina bats at the position that he will most likely bat in the World Cup. It will give him that exposure. Also, we are not a team that plays a lot of T20Is. Usually, we play one game in a bilateral series. So this gives him an opportunity to expose him to No. 4 for a consistent period of time. The opportunity is there to make him bat at three and use some other batter [at four] but I think it will be more appropriate if he bats at No. 4 and gets adjusted.”
Dhoni is giving more importance to the good fitness than winning the series. Dhoni said, “We have quite a few targets in mind. Winning games is important. But at the same time what will be more crucial is, we have to keep everyone fit. It’s almost the same 15 that will play till the World T20. It’s important to keep everyone fit so that the best XI is always available for selection. That will be the key factor.”