Team that ‘jells well’ will win IPL, says Dhoni

April 22nd, 2008 - 7:36 pm ICT by admin  

Chennai, April 22 (IANS) The team that “jells well” would win the Indian Premier League (IPL) Twenty20 cricket tournament, Chennai Super Kings skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni says. At a media conference here Tuesday, Dhoni pointed out that one cannot judge any team on the basis of performances so far.

“The teams have played just one or two matches. You cannot make out anything on the basis of it. There are loads of matches left. There will be ups and downs for the teams. However, the team which jells well throughout will be the winner,” Dhoni said on the eve of the Super Kings match against Mumbai Indians.

Looking ahead to Wednesday’s game, Dhoni said he would prefer batting lower down the order as it suited his batting style, while ruling out opening the innings.

“In this format, you need to have solid scores from the start. In ODIs, you get time to settle and then score. But in the Twenty20 format, you need to score from the start and will not get time to settle down.

“We have openers like Matthew Hayden. Even if he leaves, we have another opener in (Stephen) Fleming. They are capable of giving a solid start which is needed in the Twenty20 format. I will be looking to build on the scores in slog overs. But the option (of opening) is always there.”

Providing an overview of the Super Kings’ bowling resources, Dhoni admitted that it was one of the weak points, although it could improve when Makhaya Ntini and Albie Morkel join the squad.

“We have to make the most of it with the available bowlers. We have to motivate them to bowl in the right areas,” he said, adding that the team will be looking to put a big total on the board.

Dhoni downplayed the recent acrimonious series against Australia when India toured Down Under, saying the players from different countries and cultures are playing together as a team in the IPL, it would be a different scenario.

“When we toured Australia, two countries were pitted against each other. And the Aussies are always known for their aggression. But now we are playing together. Right now, we are concentrating on the IPL rather than the issues in the past,” he said.

On the atmosphere in the dressing room, he said: “The players get to know each better now. We learn a lot from each other. It gives an opportunity to understand each other’s culture well. The youngsters, especially the under-19 players, will get the right kind of exposure.”

Looking at the IPL, Dhoni said: “Twenty20 is all about sixes, wickets, dance and music. Entertainment is the catch phrase here as that is what the audience expect,” he said.

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