Dhoni defends selectors decision to rest top players

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

VISHAKHAPATNAM - Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni Tuesday said resting top players for the One-day cricket series against Australia was important to keep them fit and fresh for next year’s World Cup.

He also said that it will also give India an opportunity to try out youngsters and test their bench strength before the quadrennial event in February-April.

“In last few series, we have not played with our strongest side and rested most players. Maybe injuries were a bit more of concern. We are a bit cautious.”

“We don’t want our big players to get injured before a tournament especially when it’s happening in India. Hopeful everyone will get fit for the World Cup,” Dhoni said ahead of the second ODI against Australia here Wednesday.

Sachin Tendulkar, Harbhajan Singh and Zaheer Khan have been rested for the series while Virender Sehwag, Gautam Ghambir are out with injuries.

Shikhar Dhawan is set to make his debut at the top of the order with Murali Vijay.

“There have been ups and downs in his (Shikhar) career but he has been quite consistent. As an opener, it’s quite tough, as you have Virender Sehwag, Sachin Tendulkar and Gautam Gambhir all at the same level. It’s good that he got a chance finally.”

Dhoni said it will be a learning curve for youngsters.

“It’s very important to live in the present. I won’t put extra pressure on them. They should take one game at a time and give their best,” said Dhoni.

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