India rely on Captain Cool in World T20

Updated: 27 April 2010 17:01 IST

India expect skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni to fire in the upcoming World Twenty20 in the Caribbean.

India rely on Captain Cool in World T20

New Delhi:

India expect skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni to fire in the upcoming World Twenty20 in the Caribbean.

The former champions are already without hard-hitting batsman Virender Sehwag due to a shoulder injury, but wicketkeeper-batsman Dhoni is second to none when it comes to striking the ball hard and clean.

The 28-year-old captain is known for holding his nerve under pressure and winning matches from hopeless situations with his power-hitting.

Leading Chennai Super Kings in a must-win Indian Premier League (IPL) match against Kings XI Punjab in Dharamshala recently, Dhoni proved why he was considered one of the best finishers in the game.

Chennai needed 52 to win off the last four overs before the captain guided his team to the semi-finals with an explosive 29-ball 54 not out, which included two sixes and five fours.

"It came right down to the wire, and hats off to the skipper for pulling it off," Chennai coach and former New Zealand captain Stephen Fleming wrote in his newspaper column after the match.

"It was an emotional moment for him too, and he is usually such a calm character. Dhoni has had a quiet tournament and it was nice to see him get his confidence back.

"This was the last innings for him to deliver and he came good. I am delighted for him and the team."

The burden of captaincy has not affected his batting, for he has led his team remarkably well in all formats of the game.

India gained the number-one Test ranking in December last year under Dhoni, who has scored 356 runs in 20 Twenty20 internationals with a strike-rate of 105.95 since making his debut against South Africa in Johannesburg in 2006.

Dhoni will be keen to excel both as captain and batsman as his last World Twenty20 World Cup campaign ended in failure in England in 2009, when India failed to make it to the semi-finals.

Like record-breaking batsman Sachin Tendulkar and Sehwag, Dhoni likes to dominate bowlers with a wide range of strokes and can change the course of a match in a short time.

Dhoni's Indians face first-timers Afghanistan and South Africa in their first round group, with the top two advancing to the Super Eights round.



Topics : Cricket Sreesanth
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