Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

England Have the Power to Worry Us, Says Dhoni

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

England Have the Power to Worry Us, Says Dhoni

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MAHENDRA SINGH DHONI knows what it takes to win a Twenty20 World Cup and he believes England have enough power and poise to mount a real challenge over the next fortnight, writes David Lloyd.

Dhoni and his Indian team will be trying to defend a title they won in Johannesburg nearly two years ago and joining them among the favourites are all the usual suspects -- Australia, South Africa and Sri Lanka.

England, however, received precious few name checks last Sunday when one international captain after another was asked for his tip for the top.

Hardly surprising, really. Although English cricketers were the first to play one-day stuff on a regular basis, they have never won either a 60 or 50-over global competition in more than 30 years of trying. And as for Twenty20, born here in 2003, it was almost painful to watch England's stuttering efforts in 2007.

Hope springs eternal, though, and their nine-wicket trouncing of the West Indies in yesterday's final warm-up game at Lord's was uplifting. Dhoni certainly believes there is sufficient talent in Paul Collingwood's squad to make the hosts dangerous dark horses.

"They are quite a well balanced unit," said India's skipper. "They've got the firepower in their batting, have a very good bowling line-up and will know the conditions here better than anyone.

"England are a very good side and they have the potential of being the champions. It is just that they need to perform consistently."

Not often England's strongest point (though they were consistently awful during the 2007 50-over World Cup in the Caribbean) and it is something about their game which baffles another Twenty20 captain -- Scotland's Gavin Hamilton. "They have this knack of looking outstanding in patches but then a couple of weeks down the line it's all changed," said Hamilton, the former Yorkshire all-rounder who played one Test for England against South Africa nearly 10 years ago. …

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