Dhoni reckons Yuvraj, Harbhajan will be eager to cement their place

MS Dhoni hopes to get off to a good start in the T20 series PTI

Visakhapatnam: Sep 7, 2012

Indian cricket team captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni reckons senior players Yuvraj Singh and Harbhajan Singh will be hungry for success in the two-match Twenty20 series against New Zealand as they are making a comeback after more than a year.

Dhoni said the two T20Is will give the players chance to get into the groove before the World T20 in Sri Lanka, beginning September 18.

“They will be hungry to cement place in the side. Overall it’s good sign… you are more into it. It will be an opportunity for players to get into the groove before going to the World Cup,” Dhoni told reporters on the eve of the first T20 game.

“It’s difficult for the players when you are dropped from the Indian cricket team. Everybody wants to represent the country and wants to do well. If you look at the positives these players will be really hungry to perform and be at their top level.

“They can cement their place not only in the T20 side but also in the ODIs and Tests. It’s a platform for them to express themselves. So in a way, it’s a big positive for us,” Dhoni said.

Dhoni hoped to get off to a good start in the T20 series, beginning here on Saturday.

“Every game is important. It’s not about when you are playing. Every game has the same importance. It’s a T20 international game. So we would like to start well.”

Asked about the team combination, Dhoni said: “The best XI will get to play. There is nothing about team combination. It’s the same team that will go into the World Cup. We are not looking to experiment and will stick to our best XI.”

On the New Zealand side, Dhoni said, “We need to stick to our game plan and our strength, keep working on areas and need to work on like the death overs. We are not thinking too much about opposition. Of course there is a bit of planning involved. It’s important to stick to our strengths.”

Dhoni said the wicket at the Dr YSR Reddy ACA-VDCA Stadium here looked good and could help the bowlers.

“The wicket looks good and that means we will have something for the bowlers. It should come onto the bat nicely. We hope batsmen can play nice strokes.”

Recalling his magnificent 148 against Pakistan way back in 2005, he said: “I started over here… in the sense my first big innings was here. I’ve some fond memories,” he said. (PTI)

Video: Watch the preview to the India-New Zealand T20 series

Video: Yuvraj Singh set for much-awaited comeback; all eyes on New Zealand T20