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‘No point taking pressure’

India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni stressed on the importance of creating an environment where his team could give its best in demanding New Zealand conditions, reports G Krishnan.

cricket Updated: Feb 18, 2009 22:54 IST
G Krishnan

India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni stressed on the importance of creating an environment where his team could give its best in demanding New Zealand conditions.

"Every country has its own demands. Teams coming to India have to tackle spin and bounce. New Zealand has its own challenges. We look to provide an environment where the team can give off its best," said the India captain addressing the media along with coach Gary Kirsten.

Dhoni also stressed on not thinking about the end result but planning and executing the strategies. The Indian team has not won a Test in New Zealand since the first Test on the 1976 tour. That means 13 winless Tests on New Zealand soil. Also, India have not won a series there since 1968, when the team led by M.A.K. Pataudi had earned its maiden overseas series win (3-1).

Dhoni said: "Every assignment at the international level is tough. We don't know how we will do in New Zealand. People say that I have had a good stint as captain so far. We go everywhere to win the series.

"We start as underdogs. There is no point taking pressure. We will go out to enjoy the game. I have heard it is a great country to tour. Nothing comes easy in international cricket. Hopefully, we will come back with a couple of trophies," Dhoni said.

The best way to tackle the New Zealand conditions, Dhoni said, is to go and practice. "It is all about how well prepared we are."

Coach Kirsten's experience of having played in New Zealand with the South African team will come handy. "But that's a long time ago," he said. The former opening batsman admitted that the conditions were going to be testing. "We will put in our hard work, we have exciting young cricketers and experienced players. We have four days before the first T20 match, which is nice."