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Players have not spoken to BCCI about skipping NZ ODIs: Dhoni

cricket Updated: Oct 23, 2010 16:40 IST

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Country's skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni on Saturday gave a new spin on the issue of some top players skipping the upcoming ODI series against New Zealand in order to prepare for the tougher outing in South Africa, by saying no communication has been sent from the players' side to the Cricket Board.

"Not done (written to the Board) anything like that as of now. No confirmation has been sent from the players' side to the BCCI yet and nothing has been received from the BCCI either. This is what I have to say," said Dhoni at the mandatory press conference ahead of tomorrow's third and the final ODI against Australia which is threatened by rains.

He was replying to a query on reports quoting BCCI sources that some top players, including Dhoni, will not play the five-match ODI series against New Zealand after the three-Test rubber against the same opponents and, instead, jet off to South Africa to get more acclimatisation time for the Test rubber against the Proteas.

India have not won a Test rubber in South Africa and are currently the world's number one Test side.

Dhoni said that all these things can be kept on the back burner as the team was looking at tomorrow's clash against Australia which, if the hosts win, would close out the three-match series 2-0 in their favour and provide India with their first ODI series win at home against the formidable opponents in more than two decades.

"Tomorrow's game is more important to us right now rather than thinking about what to do after the New Zealand series. As I always say, I don't think too much about the future. After that (ODI series v Australia) what is important is the utilisation of the 4-5 days' break that we have got, then concentrate on the Test series (v NZ).

"And after that if we get some time we will see what can be done and what needs to be done," Dhoni said.

The India captain conceded that the home team's bowling in the end overs of the 50-over games is not a matter of recent concern but has been bothering them for over the last 18 months.

"The last ten overs have always been a big concern for us. It's not a worry we have had (only) over the last 2 or 3 months. We have been bothered by the last ten overs for a long time now - 1 to 1 and 1/2 years. We had done well in between but have not been really consistent. It's still an area where we can definitely improve," Dhoni said.