Dhoni: Would like to give everybody a game

"I would like to give everybody a game as it is important to have a settled team ahead of the World T20. The situation there (in Asia Cup) will also allow us where we would look to win games while giving chance to everybody," Dhoni said on Sunday.

M. S. Dhoni interacts with the media ahead of departing for the Asia Cup in Bangladesh.   -  PTI

Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni said he will seek to give every member of his team a fair share of competitive cricket in the T20 Asia Cup in Dhaka next week.

The Indian limited-overs captain stressed on the need to have a better-prepared team ahead of the ICC World T20, which will start just after the continental competition. Dhoni said that it was a good decision to have the Asia Cup transformed into a T20 event as it is easy to switch to the Test format from the T20 format, but it is very difficult to do it the other way round. The captain said the team is getting into rhythm after the T20 success in Australia (3-0) and then against Sri Lanka at home (2-1) earlier this month.

“I would like to give everybody a game as it is important to have a settled team ahead of the World T20. The situation there (in Asia Cup) will also allow us where we would look to win games while giving chance to everybody,” Dhoni said in the pre-departure media conference on Sunday.

The Indian captain sounded confident about his team’s chances in the tournament.

“I have the belief that we have the talent required to win a big tournament. This team has all the ingredients but, what will be important is to keep the team fit and try to give as many games to all the individuals who are part of the side,” Dhoni said while looking to sustain the growing self-belief in the side.

“The good thing is we played three games in Australia, yes the conditions were very different in Australia, and then we played Sri Lanka here. It is a good thing to convert the Asia Cup into a T20 format as it will give us more scope to settle down as a side,” the Indian captain said.

The Indian team was scheduled to leave for Bangladesh later in the evening.

Insisting that the focus of the team will be to win back the World T20 title, which India had first won in 2007 under his captaincy, Dhoni insisted on getting the team in the shape to face specific challenges.

“Ultimately, you have to do well in the field. In this format, you have to keep the big hitters away. If a team has two big hitters, especially in a knockout situation, you have to ensure they do not score enough runs. If they do, they can take the game away from you,” he said.

Putting team before self, the Indian captain said he did not see any reason to promote himself in the batting order as there are better hitters in the side.

“In a normal scenario I do not see myself batting up the order. We may try to promote one of the better hitters in the side to get the team batting in shape,” Dhoni said

About missing the services of one the key pacers, Mohammed Shami, Dhoni said the team’s bowling would have looked much sharper with him in the squad.

“He has been one bowler who has bowled well for us, be it upfront or at the death, so that was considered. If he gets fit, the bowling attack looks much better,” Dhoni explained why Shami was initially picked but later replaced by Bhuvneshwar Kumar when his injury did not respond to treatment quickly enough.

When asked whether his way of captaining the side has undergone any transformation over the years, Dhoni said his philosophy has remained the same while he has only changed his tactics according to the playing eleven.

“I am 100 percent the same that I used to be. You have to set your team according to your playing eleven but essentially I have retained my philosophy,” he said.