Bowling is our weak link and our part-timers will have to do a really good job: Dhoni

The loss to Pakistan in the T20 World Cup warm-up match despite scoring 185 runs has made Indian skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni think on his bowling options. The captain feels that India’s chances will mostly depend upon its batsmen as bowling is their weak link, says a report in The Hindu.

“If you compare our batting to our bowling, we find the bowling is slightly weaker, but still we have got experienced bowlers who can do the needful. We are looking to play seven batsmen to start off the tournament,” the India skipper said.

Dhoni, though, did hint at flexibility in plans: “It means the part-timers will have to do a really good job so that we can sustain with those seven batsmen. If we still find our bowling a bit weak, (then) we will have to go with six batters and five bowlers.”

The captain felt the batsmen acquitted themselves well in the warm-up games against Sri Lanka and Pakistan but refused to talk big about his team’s chances against Afghanistan. “We are going good. Yes, (in the warm-ups) we won one and lost one, but overall, it gave some exposure to some of our bowlers as to what needs to be done. At the same time, we don’t rate any side lightly, be it Afghanistan or any other side,” said Dhoni.

Meanwhile a report in DNA says that India will experiment with different field settings to compensate for their bowling deficiencies at the Twenty20 World Cup, captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni said on Tuesday a day ahead of his team's opening game against Afghanistan.

The 2007 champions failed to defend a formidable 185-run target against Pakistan in a warm-up game on Monday with their key bowlers Irfan Pathan, Lakshmipathy Balaji, Zaheer Khan, and Harbhajan Singh going for over 10 runs an over. India lost the match by five wickets two days after they defeated Sri Lanka by 26 runs with the bowlers led by Pathan doing an excellent job to bowl out the hosts for 120 runs.

"Bowling has always been a bit of a concern. If you compare our batting to our bowling, we find the bowling slightly weaker than the batting," Dhoni told reporters, adding that, "We will try different strategies and different field settings, so that you can complement our way of bowling."

Dhoni also said Yuvraj Singh, who has returned to the team after cancer treatment, looked fit for the shortest version of the game. "He looks fit especially for this format. It's a short format and he is not 100% fit for something like test cricket right now. But for this format, he is shaping well."

Meanwhile without being unrealistic, Afghanistan captain Nawroz Mangal hoped to give India tough time in their World T20 opener here on Wednesday, says a report in Deccan Herald.

The 28-year-old said it was a learning phase for the team and that the T20 format offered them the best chance to compete with the best in the business.

“On playing against India: Definitely India is a big team and we are very excited and looking forward to this game. Of late, the boys have been playing really well. So tomorrow you will see a different team from what you saw in the last World T20,” he said.