Reuters

DHAKA-The Pak-India cricket rivalry traditionally lived up to the Orwellian concept of serious sport - war minus shooting - but India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni is glad the tension has finally eased. "An India-Pakistan match always caught the imagination of people from either side," Dhoni told reporters. "But I feel it has mellowed to some extent whatever the reason may be. You don't see many altercations on the field but you still see good competitive cricket which I feel is very important." Dhoni said he once enjoyed on-field friction among players from both sides but felt it was important that cricket was played in the true spirit. "It used to get quite tense with plenty of things happening apart from cricket on the field," he added. "I used to enjoy it as a kid but I'm glad that it doesn't happen any more because when you talk about promoting cricket and promoting it the right way, I think more often than not it's being played in the right spirit."

Underlining his bowling concerns, Dhoni said they need to bowl well at the death and hoped that batsmen would give the bowlers more than the par score on board. "Bowling is an area of concern compared to batting. Getting off to a good start is important as it will help us get 10 to 15 runs more than the par-score. Our aim will be to do well in death bowling and also bat well and we will have a good chance (in the tournament)," Dhoni said on the eve of the opening group league match tomorrow. He said the likes Mohammed Shami and Bhuvneshwar have not played a lot of T20 Internationals but the IPL experience will certainly come in handy for them. "Agreed they haven't played a lot of T20 International cricket but the experience in IPL will help them a lot. We would want the bowlers to get one or two wickets with the new ball, their job will be much easier," Dhoni said.

While he was happy about Yuvraj Singh and Suresh Raina’s performance, he was non-committal on sending Ajinkya Rahane up the order. "Overall, we have achieved a lot during the two practice games. The idea was to give the guys some fair time in the middle. Yuvi and Raina contributed in bowling."