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Indians not worried about hostile reception: Dhoni

Indian captain MS Dhoni insists that his team is not worried about a hostile reception in the wake of the Harbhajan Singh controvesy

cricket Updated: Jan 31, 2008 14:28 IST

Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni is not unduly worried about a possible hostile reception for his team in the wake of the racism row involving Harbhajan Singh as he said the players would not be affected if it was "not on the field".

"We don't care whether we receive a hostile reception or not. As long as it's not on the field, it doesn't matter," Dhoni told reporters ahead tomorrow's Twenty20 match here.

Having embroiled in a string of controversies in their Test series against Australia, Dhoni said he would hope nothing untoward happens in the remaining part of their tour Down Under.

He said his team was aware of the International Cricket Council's code of conduct guidelines and assured none would cross the line on field.

"Everyone knows what are the international guidelines to be followed. You don't need a captain to tell you so. Each players should respect it and I don't see the boys crossing the line," Dhoni said as he took over the reins of the team from Anil Kumble for the Twenty20 and ODI matches.

"A bit of chit-chat is always going on on a cricket field but hopefully nothing controversial would happen," he said.

The Indian captain rued the absence of Yuvraj Singh for tomorrow's game and also the relentless cricket which was beginning to take toll on fast bowlers.

"Yuvraj has been a master player for us. He was the star in the Twenty20 World Cup. It's a setback for us," he said.

"As for the fast bowlers, it's important that they are rotated well. We have seen how relentless cricket is getting the bowlers injured. Rotation is important," Dhoni said.

Although world champions India have a 100 per cent record against Australia in the shortest version of the game, a disarmingly straightforward Dhoni said he would not sit on the past laurels as luck was a big factor in Twenty20 cricket.

"You have to create balance. I am the guy who doesn't believe in the laurels of the past... Luck is a huge factor in this game."

As a lot of seniors returned home after the Test series to make way for the youngsters, Dhoni said tomorrow's match will be a precursor to the ODIs.

"We will treat this Twenty20 game as a practice game as a lot of the boys who have been here still have not got a decent hit," he said.

He believed that his side would be able to take into its stride the tremendous build-up for tomorrow's game at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG), including the fact that 90,000 spectators would fill up the stands.

"In Eden Gardens there are one lakh; in Kochi there are 80,000 spectators. Still, it's a huge ground and playing in front of such numbers would be exciting."

Dhoni hoped the wicket at the centre would be different to the slow and low strip which was served for the Test match here a few weeks ago.

Unlike Kumble, his captain in Tests, the young Indian ODI skipper was not inclined to have an agreement with his opposite number on taking the fielder's word for disputed catches.

"I believe in referring it to the third umpire. A fielder can mislead so it's important that it's referred to the third umpire."