Dhoni is the most assured and relaxed captain: Imran

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Karachi, Feb 11 (PTI) India''s Mahendra Singh Dhoni is themost assured, relaxed and confident captain going into theforthcoming World Cup, according to former Pakistan captainImran Khan.

The former great said India''s biggest strength is theircaptain who has the respect of his players.

"He is the most assured and relaxed captain in thistournament and he has the respect of his players. He is also avery astute tactician and a matchwinner on his day," Imransaid on the ''Geo Super'' channel.

Imran, who led Pakistan to the title in 1992 World Cup,said India are the clear favorites to win the title on currentform. That they are one of the co-hosts only adds to it.

"On the sub-continental wickets their batting will be apowerhouse. They have two quality bowlers in Zaheer Khan andHarbhajan Singh and have taken a very wise decision byincluding leg-spinner Piyush Chawla in their bowling line-up,"he said.

Describing Virender Sehwag and Yousuf Pathan as two ofthe cleanest and most powerful hitters in the game today,Imran said the two had the potential to destroy any side.

"They have immense ability to hit the ball and once theyget going it is difficult to stop them. And given the superiorquality of the bats today they become a dangerous pair."

Imran, however, pointed out that Sehwag demonstrated verylittle foot movement and is vulnerable to the incoming ball.

"That is his only weakness because he plays the outgoingball well as he is very good at the cut shot. But I think tocontain him you need to bring the ball into his pads. Probablythe best bowler against him would have been Mohammad Asif."

The former skipper felt India had so much talent at theirdisposal that they would find it hard to select the eleven.

"I think on the sub-continental wickets teams would bebetter served playing an extra bowler. In March the weather ishot and by experience I know that pitches at this time of theyear are very flat in India and terrific for batting."

The cricketer-turned-politician also said that Zaheer andHarbhajan would play key roles for India.

"They are their best bowlers and I think Zaheer is in thebest bowling form of his life. He has the ability to reverseswing and move the ball both ways. While Harbhajan will becrucial to India''s chances as he comes into bowl at a verycrucial time and is capable of taking wickets and alsocontaining," Imran said.

The former captain is also excited about the prospects ofwatching Chawla in action. "I have always believed it isessential to have a leg-spinner in one-day cricket becausethey are attacking bowlers. India have taken a wise decisionto pick the leg-spinner and he will give them the edge overthe non-Asian teams."

Imran also said that the dew factor would play a key rolein the tournament. "Mark my words it is my prediction the dewfactor will be crucial in deciding matches in this tournament.

In day night matches teams batting second will always have ahuge advantage." PTI Corr AH

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