Dhoni concerned over bowling

  • Last Updated: March 20 2014, 15:02 GMT

India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni remains concerned about his side's bowling ahead of their World Twenty20 opener against Pakistan in Dhaka on Friday.

Dhoni: Preparing for his side's opening clash
Dhoni: Preparing for his side's opening clash

India have come under fire for their performances with ball in hand in recent limited overs matches, especially their death bowling.

Their two warm-up matches against Sri Lanka and England this week have hardly settled matters either, with India leaking an average of 54 runs in the final five overs of each.

"The bowling department is still an area of concern if you compare it to our batting," Dhoni told a press conference.

"If you talk about international T20s, our fast bowlers have not played much. But they have spent a lot of time in the IPL, where the conditions are a bit similar, so I think to some extent that will help."

Dhoni has targeted early wickets to try and take the pressure off his bowlers at the back end.

"When it comes to contribution, we would want to bowl well with the new ball," he said.

"If we can get one-two wickets with the new ball, it is considered a good start. Especially in this format, if you keep getting regular wickets, the opposition is not able to score too freely."

India lost their opening warm-up match against Sri Lanka by five runs, but at least head into the tournament with winning form after beating England by 20 runs on Wednesday.

"There were several positives to take away from the practice games," Dhoni said.

"We have achieved a lot. Through the practice games, we wanted to give the guys who were not part of the Asia Cup a fair time in the middle and I was quite happy with the way Yuvraj (Singh) and (Suresh) Raina performed. They batted well.

"Raina has also contributed with his bowling. Whatever we wanted to achieve from the practice games, we have achieved that.

"It looks set but still there are quite a few areas where we will have to improve when it comes to a proper game because you won't really have the luxury of playing 15 players (like in the warm-up games)."

Pakistan have never beaten their cross-border rivals at the World Twenty20, most significantly losing the final of the first tournament in 2007.

Since then they have been the most enigmatic force on the world stage and take mixed form into the tournament.

They were runners-up to Sri Lanka in the 50-over Asia Cup last month - which was also played in Bangladesh - but in their final warm-up match were skittled for just 71 against a South African side missing Dale Steyn.

All-rounder Mohammad Hafeez is not concerned by what has gone on in the past, though.

"History does not really bother us," he said.

"Irrespective of whether it is good or bad, it is history. All days are not great days. You should be ready for the next day."


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