The cricket world may be viewing this series as the final frontier for India and the one that will determine actual champions, but for MS Dhoni it’s ‘just another important contest’.
The India skipper tried his best to play down the hype, saying one series alone can’t decide whether or not India deserve the champions’ tag.
“It can’t be just about one series. If you talk about rankings, it’s a process that takes you to a certain place. Our journey to where we are right now started from September 2008. So, it’s a constant process, and one or two series can’t have too much bearing on that,” he said.
Trying to tone down the importance of the series might be his ploy as he perhaps doesn’t want his players to lose focus from the job at hand. “Pressure gets you straightaway into an environment of negative energy. So we are just talking about responsibilities and doing well in the series”.
India’s poor record in South Africa and their weakness against rising deliveries were bound to come up, and it came sooner rather than later. The skipper, however, appeared ready for it. “How are we going to cope with the short stuff is the first question we are asked whenever we tour abroad, but I think this particular team has coped quite well with it. This side has not only performed well in the sub-continent but also in Australia, England, New Zealand and the West Indies,” said Dhoni.
Even India’s poor record in SA doesn’t appear to be of any significance to Dhoni as he sets out to become the first Indian captain to win a series in the Rainbow Nation. “It’s not always about history and stats. It’s about staying in the present and planning and preparing for the job at hand. And when one does this, more often than not he will come out and make runs and take wickets, regardless of the history and stats.”