Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni heads into the Super Eights stage of the World Twenty20 this week delighted to have the enviable problem of which player to leave out.
A revamped India condemned England to their heaviest T20 defeat — by 90 runs — in Colombo on Sunday after bowling the defending champions out for their lowest T20 total of 80.
India rested three regulars — seamer Zaheer Khan, spinner Ravichandran Ashwin and opener Virender Sehwag — for the group A match because both teams had already qualified for the Super Eights.
Veteran off-spinner Harbhajan Singh marked his return to the Indian team after a year with 4-12, including a wicket maiden in his first over, and leg-spinner Piyush Chawla took 2-13.
With Ashwin, Harbhajan and Chawla fighting for the spinners’ spots in the Super Eights and a settled batting order to choose from, Dhoni said his team was well prepared for the next battle.
“We do have a problem of plenty,” Dhoni said. “But I can assure you, a problem of plenty is better than not having that one extra guy.
“But bigger teams await us and we need to be consistent. In every match, we have to be at our best. Hopefully, we will do that in the next three matches.”
India face Australia, South Africa and either Pakistan or Bangladesh in what is being touted as the “group of death”, from which the top two will advance to the semi-finals.
All praise for Bhajji
Dhoni praised the 32-year-old Harbhajan, who was recalled for the World Twenty20 after being sidelined due to injury and poor form since August last year.
The Indian skipper refused to speculate which spinners he will pick in future.
“Frankly, I don’t know who will play,” Dhoni said. “But I am quite happy with the problem of plenty. The selection will depend on the wicket. If it’s a fresh and hard-rolled wicket, spinners may not be that effective.
“And it will be a difficult decision which bowler to drop to play the seventh batsman. The middle order has done well and the openers we have can win matches on their own.”