“I have always believed that Dinesh can bat really well in the middle-order,” Dhoni said. “He reads the situation pretty well and he is someone who can go on and play a big innings.”
India’s squad comprises just three players — Dhoni, Virat Kohli and Suresh Raina — who took part in the World Cup final against Sri Lanka in Mumbai two years ago.
India may be one of the pre-tournament favourites, but they have lost five of their last seven internationals against South Africa, including a three-wicket defeat in the World Cup in Nagpur.
Dhoni said the new one-day rules, which allowed just four fielders outside the circle instead of five, meant he faced a tricky choice to find the right combination.
“We may have to go in with five bowlers,” he said. “With the new rules, it will be very difficult to play just four bowlers and rely on part-timers.”
Pakistan and the West Indies are the other two teams in group B, from which the top two will qualify for the semi-finals. Group A comprises defending champions Australia, Sri Lanka, New Zealand and hosts England. The final is scheduled for June 23.