India may have hammered West Indies in the Test series but MS Dhoni rates them as an extraordinary and entertaining side when they play limited-overs cricket.
“I would say in limited overs format, the West Indies are extraordinary. They have the right balance, they are entertaining as well. It will be very interesting (the two match series). It is an early morning start here but it won’t make much of a difference,” Dhoni said.
Moreover, Dhoni will be working with India’s new head coach Anil Kumble for the first time and he too is looking forward to it, having also played with him in the past.
“I learnt a lot from Anil bhai, especially in Tests though I have also played with him in ODIs. The way he used to bowl to a batsman, how accurate he was, his consistency was amazing. “Also, how clear he was in his thinking and gameplan. All of that will help him as a coach. Modern day cricket is all about adjusting and that is something that Anil bhai did very well. Apart from that, he is a straightforward guy. The last couple of days with him have been interesting. The more time I spend with him, I get to know him even more as a coach,” Dhoni said.
Like Kumble, Dhoni is also impressed with the facilities at the US and said the country is a “special” market for cricket and there is no reason why the game can’t be successful here.
“As far as the facility is concerned, it is as good as you would get anywhere in the world. Yes, the stadium is not that big, though when it comes to the playing area it is a perfect ground,” said Dhoni ahead of first of two T20 Internationals between India and the West Indies at the Central Broward Regional Park Stadium.
“Also, what we have to see is that it is a new venture for cricket. Looking at everything, it is a perfect staging ground. Few of other international teams have already played here, also not to forget that some of the T20 leagues have happened. The infrastructure looks good. Overall it is a big occasion. Stepping into the USA for the first time as the Indian cricket team.
“There is a time for everything. When you start playing, you want to play as much as you can irrespective of the location. That way it is difficult to maintain fitness and workload. But when you get a break, you can follow a proper schedule. It gives you ample time. I have put emphasis on my fitness to prolong my career,” Dhoni also said.
The India v West Indies T20Is could prove to be the most commercially viable series for Lauderhill, owing to the status of the two teams and in particular Dhoni’s team. The organizers will also hope these two fixtures appeal to both the south Asian and Caribbean community in the region.