Chennai, Feb 16 (PTI) Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhonitoday defended the less-than-impressive performance by hispacers in the two warm-up games, saying that they have beentold to preserve themselves for the main World Cup.
"The pacers definitely have to improve. They arecurrently not able to give 100 per cent in practice because wehave asked our seamers to not go all out, and save themselvesfor the main games," Dhoni said after the match.
"May be that is what is reflecting in their performances.
But hopefully, they will do well once the tournament startsand they put that extra effort," he said.
Electing to bat, India posted an imposing 360 for five in50 overs and then bowled out the Kiwis for 243 in 43.1 oversto go into the World Cup with a clean slate, having won boththeir warm up matches.
The skipper, himself, was the top-scorer today as heblasted 108 in 64 balls, which included 11 fours and threesixes and Dhoni said his long stay in the crease helped him togo for the kill in the slog overs.
"It was a difficult wicket to rotate strike but we havehitters down the order, and were able to achieve a total thatwas above par on this track," he said.
"In the past few games I have been in a hurry, but mygame is different. I take my time, and then like to stay tillthe end for the slog overs.
"You have got to remind yourself of your strengths. Goodto see most of the batsmen getting runs. Crucial for thepart-time spinners to bowl well when you go with only fourbowlers," he added.
His New Zealand counterpart Ross Taylor heaped praise onDhoni and said it was the Indian skipper who took the gameaway from them with his blitzkrieg.
"Got to give credit to Dhoni, he took the game away fromus," he said.
Taylor said his spinners need to improve as they wouldplay an important role in the tournament.
"We got a good start but need to work on some things.
Spinners are going to be a big part of the World Cup, and wehave got to improve against them," he said.
"We haven''t played well over the last 6-7 months. Ourgame against Kenya will be at the same ground, and will be aday game, so hopefully we can do well," he added.
Meanwhile, Indian spinner Harbhajan Singh credited thewin to the brilliant batting performance.
"We batted really well and had runs on the board. Chasinga run-rate on over 7 is never easy and when you have runs onthe board, spinners just need to stick to the basic and waitfor the opponent to commit mistakes," Harbhajan said.
However, the Indian spinner refused to get carried awayby the two wins in the warm up matches and said they won''ttake anything for granted.
"We may have won the two warm up matches but we would nottake anything for granted. We need to do the good work andstick to basic and enjoy each match without thinking about theresult," he said.