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MS Dhoni happy with preparations for South Africa series

MS Dhoni happy with preparations for South Africa series
MS Dhoni is confident that Indian team is well prepared for the upcoming campaign against South Africa which gets underway on 2nd October.
©REUTERS / Action Images

Indian limited overs captain MS Dhoni is confident that his team is well prepared for the upcoming campaign against South Africa which gets underway on 2nd October.

South Africa are touring India to take part in three Twenty20 Internationals, five One-Day Internationals and four Test matches.

In preparation for the South African series, India had organised a preparatory camp in Bangalore which included players from the squads of all the three formats of the game.

Happy that India had ample time to prepare for the South African challenge, Dhoni felt that every member in the squad is fit and rearing to go.

"We got some time, and because of that we were able to have a fitness camp in Bangalore and here (in Dharamsala) before the series.

“We worked on individual training apart from working together as a team.

“It's good to get a bit of time off and then get together as a team.

“You can put in a lot more effort and work on the basics and specifics at the same time.

“Everybody is fit and looking good.

“The preparations have been really good."

The first T20I of the three-match series will be played in the scenic Dharamsala stadium, where the pitch will help generate decent pace and bounce.

Dhoni is of the view that India have enough variety in their squad to pick the team which will best suit the conditions of a particular venue on the match day.

“A lot depends on the conditions.

“We have four spinners, three proper seamers and an all-rounder who can bowl seamers.

“So it gives you that luxury of going with the right combination, depending on the scenario.”

Admitting that the dew factor will play a role, Dhoni stated that he will look into various factors before selecting the final XI.

“If there is a bit more dew, we have to decide accordingly whether to go with three spinners or three fast-bowlers.

“Also, you have to see the strength of the team.

“Like if we go with two spinners, one of them has to be a better batsman, because we don't have a very good all-rounder who can bowl seamers, who can give us four overs in a T20 game or for that matter 10 overs in a 50-over game and also bat as well.

“So we have to keep all these factors in mind.”

With the T20 World Cup coming up next year, Dhoni is looking to give chances to the players who have done well in the Indian Premier League.

“Also, looking at the bigger picture, with the World T20 coming up next year, we would like to give chances to some of the players who have done well in the IPL.”

When asked if he will be looking to bat up the order, Dhoni iterated that a lot will depend on the composition of the side.

“I would love to (bat higher up the order).

“But we have to see the composition of the side, who is best suited to bat at what position.

“Especially in T20s, most of our players are top-order batsmen when it comes to the IPL, but in T20 Internationals they bat at different positions.

“For example, Rohit (Sharma) opens over here and Ajinkya Rahane who bats in the middle order, opens in the IPL. So we have to see, depending on that, I will decide on the batting positions.”

Since Virat Kohli has taken over the captaincy of the Test team, there has been a specific emphasis on playing aggressive cricket.

While MS Dhoni believes aggression is a good thing, he urged the players to channelize their aggression in the right manner without crossing the boundaries.

“Aggression in sport does not mean exchanging words or physical contact, it is different.

“Rahul Dravid had said that a good forward defensive shot to a very quick fast bowler is also aggressive play.

“Our guys are also learning how to channelize aggression.

“It's good to be aggressive, but at the same time we have to follow the guidelines and make sure that all are available and there is no disciplinary action on anyone.

“We want to play aggressive cricket, but within the guidelines.”

With the T20 World Cup almost five months away, Dhoni opined that India have enough time to test out their players to get the right combinations for the mega-event.

"It's too early, there is lot of time before World T20.

“The good things is that January onwards, we will play lot of T20s.

“Maybe we can test combinations in those games.

“And it gives equal opportunities to all.

“In big tournaments, the top 3 or 4 get to bat and others are then tested in knock-out stages.

“Then there is a problem.

“If there are these many matches then you can rotate because you are not bothered too much about the result.

“You want top-6 in good form and best bowlers have enough matches.

“So these three (matches against South Africa) will not have much of an impact."

After the conclusion of the first T20I on 2nd October in Dharamsala, India and South Africa will travel to Cuttack to play the second game on 5th October.

© Cricket World 2015