India will miss street-smart Praveen in World Cup: Dhoni

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Saumojyoti S Choudhury

Bangalore, Feb 10 (PTI) India captain Mahendra SinghDhoni today said they will badly miss "street-smart" PraveenKumar in the upcoming World Cup as the pacer has been ruledout of cricket''s showpiece event due to an elbow injury.

Praveen, who has been a vital cog in India''s ODI schemeof things for a little over three years and was certain inIndia''s seam attack in the World Cup, was ruled out on Mondayafter failing to recover from an elbow injury which hesustained during the South Africa tour.

"It is very unfortunate that Praveen had to miss theWorld Cup. He featured consistently in the ODIs for us. He isa street-smart cricketer and he will miss him a lot," Dhonisaid during a pre-tournament press conference here.

"But you can''t really restrict injuries from happening toplayers," he added.

Without mentioning the names, he also indicated thatVirender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir and Sachin Tendulkar all haverecovered from their injuries and will be totally fit by thetime India play their tournament-opener against Bangladesh inDhaka on February 19.

"A few players are suffering from slight niggles, whichis always there but nothing serious. Hopefully, nothing majorhappens to any player," the skipper said.

The World Cup has come in for its share of criticism fromsome quarters for its length which spans around 45 days, butDhoni reiterated that a perfect scheduling is always difficultto churn out and the rest period between matches will help theplayers to recover from their niggles.

"As I have said earlier it is very difficult to form aperfect schedule and format. A tournament schedule will beeither too long or too short but I am quite happy with theschedule. It will give us time to recover from small niggles,"he insisted. More PTI SSC AT

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