We have a strong 2011 WC squad: MS Dhoni

Zeecric Bureau

Cape Town: Indian captain MS Dhoni said that the selectors had chosen a strong 15 member squad for the World Cup and they were ready for the mega event. Talking to reporters in Cape Town, he said that the inclusion of three spinners in the team was crucial due to team strategy.

“We’ve got a strong team for 2011 WC,” he said. Dhoni also defended the inclusion of spinner Piyush Chawla over Rohit Sharma or S Sreesanth saying, “He (Piyush Chawla) can bat at No. 7 if we feel the five bowlers tactic is to be used. Piyush and Ashwin do fit the bill.”

Chawla has been picked despite not playing a one-dayer since July 2008, and Dhoni was aware of that.

"I would always say that playing in first class match or IPL match and playing in the international match is different. Piyush needs that international match practice," the India skipper said.

Names like Rohit Sharma, S Sreesanth and Ishant Sharma missed out on selection but Dhoni said that the reserve players should be in a proper frame of mind during the tournament.

"If you are in the reserve and if any batter or bowler gets injured then you are going to come in. So it is important to be in a good frame of mind," he said.

"Finally you can pick only 15 players. It is not like that you will not get chance. Have a look at the players out here. They were not featuring in the original list. At the end of the day you can pick only 15 players and somebody is going to miss out. So I would say that you should do well in whenever you get to play and then wait for your chance."

He also expressed his happiness for the ongoing ODI series against South Africa saying that the matches had helped the youngsters to learn a lot. “It is good exposure,” he said adding that the current series helped them in knowing their grey areas better, laying more emphasis on improving fielding and bowling at the death overs.

Team: Mahendra Singh Dhoni (Captain/WK), Virender Sehwag (Vice-captain), Sachin Tendulkar, Gautam Gambhir, Virat Kohli, Yuvraj Singh, Suresh Raina, Harbhajan Singh, Zaheer Khan, Ashish Nehra, Munaf Patel, Yusuf Pathan, R Ashwin, Piyush Chawla, Praveen Kumar.

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