Dhoni cautions teammates not to get carried away by the hype
Press Trust of India,
Updated: March 31, 2011 14:12 IST
Mahendra Singh Dhoni has cautioned his teammates not to get carried away
by the excessive hype ahead of their World Cup final against Sri Lanka
and stick to their basic job of playing "good cricket".
semi-final match against arch rivals Pakistan was billed as the "mother
of all clashes" and generated tremendous media frenzy and the 29-run
victory triggered passionate celebrations across the country.
be plenty of things happening around us, like in this game, but what's
important is not to get distracted. We all know what our jobs are as
professional cricketers so we'll stick to that and try to play good
cricket," Dhoni said at the post-match press conference in Mohali.
Sri Lankans have a good side and they have done really well in the
tournament. We have to play good cricket to beat them. We have to be at
our best", he said.
Dhoni said the format of the tournament had helped his team and the young players were slowly coming into the groove.
format's really helped us. We had quite a few close games where the
youngsters were really tested at the crease. I think slowly they're
getting into the groove. That will hold the team in good stead," he
On being asked about how he planned to motivate his team
for the summit showdown, Dhoni said "You do not need to motivate, it is
not required when you are representing your country. We are playing the
World Cup and we all want to win it." Dhoni admitted that he had
"misread" the pitch and that was one of the reasons why spinner
Ravichandran Ashwin was left out.
Dhoni said the track was not a
typical Mohali wicket which generally assist the quickies and he had
opted to include pacer Ashish Nehra to give the team more bowling
"We misread the wicket. It was not a normal Mohali
track. It usually does not help the spinner, but it did today. Our
spinners really bowled very well and that really put pressure on them,"
"Pakistan players play spin very well, that is why we
thought to go with a 3-2 combination. We felt it was a safer option,
since we have part-timers such as Sachin (Tendulkar), virat (Kohli) and
After a blazing start, India could manage 260 for nine
after winning the toss and Dhoni said it was a good score though not a
"I felt after the end of the first innings 260 was a
good score, I wouldn't say it was a safe score because it was important
not to give away too many runs with the new ball," he said.
Dhoni said that the spirit and unity displayed by his team has been one of the highlights of the tournament.
team unity has been one of the highlights. We are backing each other
and not criticising any player and that really counts. If somebody is
having a bad time on the field we are making sure he is wanted and
everybody is helping each other," he said.
"I'm proud of the side
that I've got. You can see a definite difference between the fielding
we did back in a few series and now.
"They're giving more than
100 percent for the World Cup. You can't always control the result but
you can always control the amount of effort you put in so that's what's
in our hands and that's what we're doing," he said.
Man of the
match Sachin Tendulkar was the highest scorer for India and Dhoni said
the senior batsman batted really well and guided the innings.
think he batted really well and when he's there he makes it really easy
for the others to score because he guides them really well, he said.
"If you bat with Sachin for 15 games you have the kind of experience you'd have after 50 games."
Nehra's wonderful performance in the match, Dhoni said he selects the
playing XI considering the pitch conditions and it was great to see
Nehra justify his selection.
"He was criticised for his
performance the last time he played, so it was a good comeback. Being
criticised is part and parcel of a cricketer's life," he said.
Singh has not been at his peak form right through the tournament but
Dhoni defended the off spinner saying every cricketer goes through a
Asked whether the team management would consider
re-drawing their strategy considering Harbhajan's poor form, the Indian
captain said, "We have done well with bits and pieces contributions from
everyone. We will manage in the final also."
Amid all the
hullabaloo, one concern that remains is Dhoni's own batting form. The
right handed batsman scored just 25 against Pakistan to total 150 at an
average of 30 in the World Cup so far.
"I've not scored too many
runs, but at the same time more often than not when you walk into bat
you're under pressure with four or five batsmen down. Hopefully the
final will be better," said Dhoni.
Edited by sweta01 - 31 March 2011 at 4:05am