Important to put runs on the board: Dhoni

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Perth, Jan 29: Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni today said that it's imperative to win every match in order to identify the team's first playing XI ahead of the cricket World Cup. ('Kohli will have to sacrifice his No.3 position')

World Cup 2015 Special

"Even if you win a couple of games, if you are not sure about your playing eleven going into the World Cup, then it may hamper your tournament. If everybody is fit, then in your mind you will have the first eleven you will play and also have the second eleven depending on the conditions because some of the wickets will be very different from others.

File photo of MS Dhoni

"Ultimately the plan is to have 15 players who are fit and doing decently well, and according to the demands you can feature the best eleven that suits," Dhoni said ahead of the virtual semifinal against England at WACA tomorrow.

India, who have been unable to register a single win in the three ODIs so far, were lucky to get two points from the rained-off game against Australia in Sydney.

A win against a better-placed England may still book their final outing against the hosts and Dhoni is keeping his fingers crossed.

"Every game is important for us. It is important for us to put runs on the board and look to defend it. We have not been able to do that in the couple of games that we have played.

We have got partnerships going but we have not been able to capitalise on that.

"We also need to see how we bat in the last 10-12 overs with wickets in hand. That's what we will look to do," Dhoni said.

England go into the knockout match with a fair advantage after humbling India in the league meeting by nine wickets as Eoin Morgan and company also earned a bonus point.

Dhoni believes that England always had the advantage but it's always a new game.

"They had the psychological advantage in ODIs in England as well. We have made the best out of whatever practice sessions we have had. It is not as if the ball comes 15 or 20 km/h faster in Perth. If you bowl at 140 km/h, it will come at that speed only, just that you get a little more bouncer than other Australian wickets," the 'captain cool' said.

PTI

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