Dhoni relaxed about Gayle storm

MS Dhoni admitted there would be little he could do if Chris Gayle was at his best during their opening WT20 Super Eights clash against the West Indies.

updated: June 12, 2009 08:22 IST
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India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni admitted there would be little he could do if rival skipper Chris Gayle was at his best during their opening World Twenty20 Super Eights clash against the West Indies.

Gayle hammered Australia for a blistering 88 in West Indies' seven-wicket win over Ricky Ponting's men and the left-handed opener has a well deserved reputation for an ability to make rapid scores against even the best attacks.

Having missed the 'dead' game against Sri Lanka with a knee injury, Gayle is expected to return for Friday's clash with defending champions India at Lord's.

"A player like Chris Gayle, you can't plan too much because you can't have players outside the field," Dhoni told reporters at Lord's on Thursday.

"He's a big six-hitter, he will take risks and he can get out. But, in this format, if he has good day you can be on the losing side," Dhoni admitted.

"But we have one or two players like that."

However, India will be without Virender Sehwag after the dynamic opening batsman was ruled out of the tournament with a right shoulder injury that sidelined him from the group stage.

"Sehwag is a very talented player, he can put pressure on when the ball is moving around," Dhoni said before stressing how well the talented Rohit Sharma had performed after stepping up into an opening slot alongside Gautam Gambhir.

"Rohit Sharma is filling his shoes. He's a part-time opener but he's doing really well. He was the best option and he grabbed the opportunity he got."

There is a belief that if a top side gets Gayle out cheaply then the game is all but won.

But Dhoni said the West Indies were much more than a one-man team.

"They've got quite a few big blokes who can hit sixes and push bowlers on to the backfoot.

"Dwayne Bravo is good, then there's Chris Gayle, Shivnarine Chanderpaul and Ramnaresh Sarwan. They've alo got bowlers who bowl at 140kph plus and use the slower ball and bouncer effectively."

India were given official clearance Thursday by the ICC to replace Sehwag with Dinesh Karthik and Dhoni said: "Dinesh Karthik has opened in Test matches and done well lower down the order in the IPL.

"He can do well in two slots and he can also replace me as a wicket-keeper."

India, initially suspicious of this format, won the inaugural World Twenty20 in South Africa two years ago after beating arch-rivals Pakistan by five runs in a thrilling final.

"We got loads of confidence from having won the last World Twenty20 but we can't rely on that," said Dhoni.