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Not all boys were fully fit during tri-series: Dhoni

Mahendra Singh Dhoni

Perth: India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni today blamed the injuries and niggles being the reason for his team’s poor show in the tri-nation cricket tournament where they failed to reach the final after losing three out of the four league matches with a game being abandoned.

“To carry momentum into the World Cup is very crucial but more importantly we need all the 15 guys in the squad to be fit. In this tournament not all were fit,” Dhoni tried to reason his team’s winless end to the two-month Australian tour at the post-match media conference.

Dhoni said that it is important that all squad members get some kind of match time under their belt ahead of World Cup which starts in two weeks’ time.

“Getting into a tournament like the World Cup, it’s important that all of them have some kind of games behind them. Now in the coming warm-up games also, we will try to give as many people chances as possible so that we get a look at what the conditions they may face and what the opposition is,” said Dhoni post the defeat.

India were laid low by another niggle to Ishant Sharma who was fit a day prior to the game, but pulled up sore in his left knee, again, just a few hours away from the match.

“He bowled in the nets, and after that he had a sore knee because of the nets session. This came to our notice in the evening but it was too late for us to do anything. So we didn’t want to push him because if there is a niggle, it may turn into an injury,” the skipper said.

Shikhar Dhawan failed to convert the start he got but his skipper sounded positive about the Delhi left-hander getting some sort of score after a long barren patch at the top.

“It is important that all your guys are in decent kind of form. Now with this game, he (Dhawan) will certainly take a lot of positives out of it because there was a bit of assistance for the fast bowlers and it was not an easy wicket to bat on initially. I felt he did good and the next step will be to capitalise on the kind of start he got,” Dhoni said.

“It will be important for most of us to capitalise on starts, have wickets in hand and look to exploit because the middle-order batting will be crucial. We might not get 100-120 runs in the last 10 overs every time, we might be restricted to just 80-odd,” Dhoni said with a note of caution.

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