Bowlers will have to execute the plans, says Dhoni

Skipper confident of strong show

Bowlers will have to execute the plans, says Dhoni

Playing plenty of domestic Twenty20 matches in similar conditions hold the Indian bowlers in good stead for the ICC World T20 in Bangladesh, captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni said on Friday.

The Indian squad is filled with strokemakers suited to the slam-bang format but Dhoni's major worry will be the bowling frailty which has recently been laid bare in other formats.

The Indian bowling attack has been panned by critics for its failure to win matches on foreign soil and the team also failed to make the final of the recent Asia Cup in Bangladesh. Wicketkeeper-batsman Dhoni, who leads the team in all three formats, was not concerned.

"We have got bowlers who have played a lot of T20, not internationally you may say but quite a few games in India especially in the IPL," Dhoni told reporters. "The condition being similar will really help them. The standard of IPL is very high and they have played against the best players in the world. They have to execute their plans, I think that will really help them. Overall, it will be a good challenge for them,” said Dhoni.

Dhoni refused to pick a favourite for the tournament as he felt the shortness of the format gives every team an opportunity to win a match. The India skipper himself missed the Asia Cup with an injury but said he felt rejuvenated after the break.

"I always look at the positive side. For me the positive side was that I got some rest," Dhoni, who led India to victory in the inaugural edition of the World T20 in 2007, said. "I was at home, no work, nothing just watching television. Overall it was a break for 10-12 days and I am back playing international cricket,” he added.

India open their campaign against arch-rivals Pakistan next Friday at Mirpur's Shere Bangla National Stadium.

Bangla, Zim win

Hosts Bangladesh and Zimbabwe won their respective warm-up matches ahead of the upcoming ICC World T20 with Hong Kong beating four-time World Cup participants The Netherlands.

Bangladesh beat Ireland by 44 runs in a one-sided encounter in which skipper Mushfiqur Rahim and Shakib al Hasan blasted unbeaten half-centuries. Bangladesh scored 179 for three and then restricted Ireland to 135 for eight.

Rahim scored 59 off 30 balls with eight fours and two sixes while Shakib smashed seven boundaries and a six in a 32-ball 58. The duo added 116 runs in 9.5 overs for the third wicket.

In another match, opener Hamilton Masakadza struck seven sixes en route his 52-ball 93 to anchor a successful run-chase against Afghanistan. The Afghans scored 168 for six in 20 overs while Zimbabwe scored the runs with three balls to spare.

The surprise of the day was Hong Kong, who beat The Netherlands by 27 runs. Hong Kong were all out for 127 in 19.5 overs as Mark Chapman top-scored with 50. In reply, The Netherlands were bowled out for 100 in 16.5 overs as seamer Haseeb Amzad grabbed six for 21.

In the fourth warm-up game of the day, United Arab Emirates comfortably defeated Nepal by six wickets. While Nepal scored a paltry 95, UAE scored the runs with seven balls to spare.



Brief scores: Bangladesh: 179/3 in 20 overs (Mushfiqur Rahil 59 n.o., Shakib Al-Hasan 58 n.o.) bt Ireland: 135/8 in 20 overs (Shakib 2-13); Nepal: 95 all out in 20 overs (Paras Khadka 27; Sharif Asadullah 3-15) lt to UAE: 99/4 in 18.5 overs (Swapnil Patil 33, Shaiman Anwar 30); Hong Kong: 127 all out in 19.5 overs (Mark Chapman 50) bt The Netherland: 100 all out in 16.5 overs (Haseeb Amzad 6-21); Afghanistan: 168/6 in 20 overs (Shafiqullah Shafiq 31) lt to Zimbabwe: 173/3 in 19.3 overs (Hamilton Masakadza 93).

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