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Fab four burdened by own expectations: Dhoni

cricket Updated: Oct 06, 2008 15:18 IST

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More than the expectations of fans and scrutiny by the experts of the game, Indian cricket's 'Fab Four' are burdened by their own high expectations which puts them under pressure every time they step on the field, feels India one-day skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni.

Asserting that senior batsmen -- Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly, VVS Laxman and Rahul Dravid -- still have a lot to offer, Dhoni said the quartet deserves a graceful exit as and when they decide to call it a day.

"There is more pressure on them because of their own expectation level and the fear of performance because they have set the benchmark so high that to be there always... there is more pressure that comes from within.

"I don't think you can really write them off, they have plenty in them. But at the same time you have to look into the future. It's all about transition, making a respectful last few years in their international career," Dhoni said.

Dhoni, who has impressed the game experts with his cool head and mindful strategies, also defended seniors place in the Test side.

"Do we have an option? We definitely have players who are talented and can make it big, but at the same time, it's not really about talent, their adaptability and preparation matter," Dhoni told NDTV in an interview.

Speaking about the four-Test series against the Australians, Dhoni said the hosts were well prepared to take on the World Champions.

"Preparation wise, I think, we could not have done an inch more than what we have done. It's all about execution of plans and hopefully, the team will adapt and play better cricket," he said.

Dhoni also predicted tough times for the Australians if the pitches for the series favour spinners.

"If it is a normal Indian wicket that starts to turn may be from the tea session, then it will be tough for them. They will have to apply themselves to get the runs."

Dhoni, however, insisted India were not depending on just its spin to trouble Australians and said the hosts had an equally potent pace-attack raring to go.

"It's not that we do not have quality fast bowlers. They have taken up the responsibility, they have pulled up their socks. We have quality spinners as well. We do not need to say anything about Harbhajan Singh or Anil Kumble.

"We are comfortable playing on any surface whether it is a spinner-friendly surface or a seamer-friendly surface," he said.

Dhoni said becoming only the second cricketer after Sachin Tendulkar to receive the country's highest sporting honour -- the 'Khel Ratna' -- was a 'special' feeling but it has also put him under pressure to perform at the same level next year.

"Khel Ratna is very special. That's the biggest sports award that I have got till now and nothing comes next to it. So it's real pleasure to get the Khel Ratna award.

"But the tough part to it, is to play cricket well again in the next year and try to get the award. But at the back of the mind, it's not about getting an award -- it's about playing some good cricket and helping the team to win," he said.