New Delhi: India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni did the right thing by not taking an unheralded Afghanistan lightly and fielding a full-strength side in their Twenty20 World Cup campaign-opener in St Lucia, feels former Pakistan captain Wasim Akram.
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“India needed the main players to get runs and they did the right thing by sticking to the original line-up. They looked a very compact side and Dhoni treated the game very seriously,” Akram said.
“It wasn’t a practice game at the end of the day. India needed to seal the deal after winning the toss and they did just that,” the former left-arm pacer added.
First edition champions India made a winning start to their campaign in the mega-event, thumping Afghanistan by seven wickets in the Group C match at the Beausejour Cricket Ground on Saturday.
Akram also believes that much should not be read into the cheap dismissal of opener Gautam Gambhir and hoped that the left-hander will regain his rhythm in the coming matches.
“Gambhir is just going through a bad phase but I believe he is just one knock away from striking good form again. This was just the first game of the tournament and there is no real reason to worry,” he told espnstar.com.
Akram also praised the Indian bowling department and said the pacers exploited the conditions well to knock off Afghanistan cheaply.
“The new ball was swinging and all their (India’s) bowlers chipped in with wickets,” he said.
Ashish Nehra, who scalped three wickets for 19 runs, was the pick of the Indian bowlers while his new-ball partner Praveen Kumar bagged two for 14.