Break was timely: Dhoni

“Personally, the break has helped me. It’s not the first time I have taken a break, but you will find that small injuries vanish suddenly,” Dhoni told reporters. “You will have plenty of energy, you are not running on reserve battery, and you want to do more and more things in the net session, like giving time to wicketkeeping, batting or bowling for fitness.

“The break has helped me, though it was not a very long break, some 15 days, and not to forget the 48-hour journey from Delhi to Jamaica. But overall, I am happy with the break I have got, and I am happy to be back in action.” Dhoni said India’s bowlers will have to maintain fitness to confront bigger challenges in the next few months.

“With some high-profile series coming up, what’s important is to keep all the bowlers fit. Fitness is one area that can have a real impact because it’s not a short format where you need to bowl only four overs or 10 overs.

“In a Test match, you may need to bowl 15, 16, 17 overs, and sometimes close to or over 25 overs in an innings, irrespective of whether you are a fast bowler or a spinner. Fitness is the key because you need your best bowlers to play in the high-profile series, and it’s important for them to be in a space where they are physically and mentally fit.”  

Dhoni warned against taking the West Indies lightly. “West Indies have a good bowling attack. They have bowlers who can bowl fast, and if they can bowl in the right areas, they can cause problems to the batsmen. That’s what Test cricket is all about. You have to negotiate good bowlers and balls, and as a batsman, you need to push the bowlers to bowl into your zone. It will be a good competition for our batsmen.”

On his interaction with new coach Duncan Fletcher, Dhoni said, “It’s too short a time to say anything about him. But he has done really well so far with the young side he had for the ODIs. Of course, we all miss Gary, but again every individual is different, so we shouldn’t be really looking to compare, as their ways will be different. But I think it’s a positive step in the right direction.”

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