We would like to give our youngsters an opportunity: Dhoni

Canberra: India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni on Wednesday gave enough hints of giving the youngsters a go in the opening warm-up match against Cricket Australia Chairman`s XI on Thursday.

"We would like to give our youngsters an opportunity of course. Some of us haven`t played much cricket over here. It`s slightly different, so we will try to make the most of it," Dhoni said on the eve of the match, which will kick off India`s long tour that includes a four-match Test series, starting in Melbourne on Boxing Day.

Dhoni said that some of the players in the Indian team have not been exposed to the Australian conditions.

He also said the game was important in terms of building momentum.

"The first game is always important; if you have momentum on your side it always builds up. You don`t really want to lag too much behind right from the very start, so a good start is crucial."

Going by reports in the Australian media, wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha, off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin, fast bowlers Umesh Yadav and Abhimanyu Mithun and batsman Virat Kohli are likely to play against Chairman`s XI.

With the team arriving here 12 days prior to the first tes, Dhoni said lack of preparation cannot be an excuse this time around.

"We are here close to 12 days early and if 12 days are not enough then one month wouldn`t be enough so we have to adapt to the conditions."

The Indian team had an optional training session at the Manuka Oval, venue for Thursday’s match.

Dhoni had earlier said that the experience of playing in Australian conditions in the past will benefit the team.

"Most of the batsmen have played there before. We are hoping we will do well there. Even last time (in the 2007-08 series) we had a very good chance and we did really perform well," he said.


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