`Confident` Dhoni insists India upbeat over World T20 title

News4u-Sports Desk- India’s limited-over skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni on Sunday expressed confidence on winning the upcoming World T20 in the country, saying that the team has all the required ingredients and qualities needed to clinch the title.

“I have the belief and also the talent as required to win a big tournament. This team has all the ingredient. What will be important is to keep the team fit and at the same time try to give as many games as to all the individuals who are the part of the side. A lot of that will also depend upon where we are positioned in the tournament, in Asia Cup, especially. After which we have two games before the World T20 Cup starts. I feel if everybody gets chance to play, it will be very good for us,” Dhoni told the media ahead of Asia Cup.

Reflecting on his side’s strategy, the 34-year-old said that India would try to dismiss the big hitters as early as possible in order to keep the match in their favour.

“It’s all about the team and the talent you have. But ultimately you have to go and do well on the field. That’s what cricket is all about. In this format, you have to keep the big hitters away from the game. If you are playing against a team that have two big hitters. You have to make sure that they don’t score a runs because if the big hitters are scoring the run then they will usually take the game from you,” he added.

The wicketkeeper-batsman also hoped for fast bowler Mohammad Shami’s quick fitness, insisting that he would strengthen his side’s bowling attack.

Shami has been ruled out of the Asia Cup due to hamstring injury. His availibility for World T20 is also unlikely.

“Of course he will have to prove his fitness. If he doesn’t, we have replacement. He has been one bowler who has bowled really well for us with the new ball and also at the depth. If he will be fit then our bowling attack will look better,” Dhoni said.

Dhoni further expressed his views on New Zealand retiring skipper Brendon McCullum, who smashed the fastest Test century during his side’s second Test against Australia.

He took just 54 balls to reach the three-figure landmark, surpassing former West Indies skipper Vivian Richards and Pakistan’s Misbah-ul-Haq’s record of 56 balls.

Dhoni lavished praise on McCullum and described him as a good ambassador of cricket.

“He is just a fantastic cricketer. He is also a wicketkeeper-batsman. He has played a lot of ODI, T20s for New Zealand. He is the kind of batsman who really entertains the crowd right from the very first ball. He has been a very good brand ambassador when it comes to cricket,” Dhoni insisted.

India are going into next week’s Asia Cup T20 in Bangladesh as the number one team in the world and will aim to lift the shortest format’s pinnacle event title for a second time. (ANI)

M S DHONI

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Gayle lauds `legend` Dhoni for contribution to Indian cricket

News4u-Sports Desk- West Indies cricketer Chris Gayle has praised his friend Mahendra Singh Dhoni, saying he has contributed a lot to the Indian cricket and will surely bounce back and prove his critics wrong.

Gayle said he is glad to get opportunity to share stage with the legend like Dhoni.

“We actually get on well off the field. Like I mention, we are very competitive in the middle. But I actually love to be on stage with MS. He is a lovely guy. I hope all the Indian fans can say the same, all the people around the world can say the same about MS Dhoni. The chance to share the stage with him is fantastic,” Gayle told ANI here.

“Legend like him in my book has done great in ODIs for the Indian cricket. He has done so many things for India by keep winning. And then losing two series, everyone has put big stick over his head. He is a champion. He will surely bounce back,” he added.

Speaking on the ongoing series between India and South Africa, the swashbuckling West Indian opener said the Proteas are the favourites for the Test series because of the success in ODIs and T20s.

“South Africa are the favourites. I am actually saying on the basis of what has happened in the ODI series. They are going for an important game and the first Test can actually decide the series as well. So hopefully they (India) can get a good start,” the 36-year old stated.

Gayle further lauded South African side, and said that they are one of the toughest opponents to face.

“They always have a strong bowling line up as well. It will going to be a great series and fan will enjoy it,” he said

India, who have lost both ODI and T20 series against South Africa, will now aim to bounce back when they take on South Africa in the four-match Test series, starting from November 5 in Mohali. (ANI)

Chris Gayle

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De Villiers credits Dhoni for India’s ODI victory

News4u-Sports Desk- AB de Villiers has appreciated Indian skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni ‘s brilliant performance that led to his side’s 22-run win over South Africa in the second ODI of the five-match series at Indore .

Dhoni remained unbeaten at 92 that eventually helped his side to level the series 1-1.

Following South Africa ‘s defeat, De Villiers said that his side tried really hard to dismiss Dhoni but were unable to do so as the latter batted very well.

The 31-year-old further insisted that Dhoni is a serious campaigner, who paces his innings extremely well, Sport24 reported.

De Villiers refuted to blame anyone in particular for the loss, saying that they lost because they could not execute their plans on the field.

He added that it was the responsibility of top seven players to build up a good partnership, insisting that they need to learn a lesson from their loss.

The two teams will now lock horns in the third ODI on October 18 in Rajkot .(ANI)

A B De Villiers

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Tendulkar pays rich tribute to retiring Zaheer Khan

News4u-Sports Desk- Legendary Indian batsman Sachin Tendulkar has paid rich tributes to retiring Zaheer Khan, describing the left-arm pacer as the one who used to ‘out-think’ batsmen most of the times.

“One of the coolest pace bowlers I know. He was a bowler who could ‘out think’ the batsman most of the times. Always up for a challenge. I am sure he will do well as he begins a new chapter in his life. Wishing @ImZaheer all success in his retired life,” cricketing icon Tendulkar wrote on Twitter.

Leading the bandwagon of current cricketers, limited-overs captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Test skipper Virat Kohli also heaped praise on the 37-year-old pacer for his contribution to the Indian cricket.

“Well done ZAK on a fantastic career.without U it wd hve been very difficult to achieve what the ICT did.most clever fast bowler I know. Life has just started now,U still can and definitely will contribute a lot to Indian Cricket.wish U all the success,” Dhoni tweeted.

“To a great fast bowler & an even greater person, I wish you luck in all future endeavours @ImZaheer bhai. You have inspired many like me,” Kohli wrote on Twitter.

The former Indian spearhead had claimed 311 wickets at an average of 32.94 in 92 Tests and 282 at 29.43 in 200 one-day internationals. He played a crucial role in India’s 2011 World Cup winning campaign, taking 21 wickets to become the tournament’s joint leading wicket-taker with Pakistan’s Shahid Afridi.

Although Zaheer will be available for next year’s edition of the Indian Premier League, he has announced that he would call curtains on his career after the conclusion of the Twenty20 competition. (ANI)

Zaheer Khan

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