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‘Pressure on Aussies’

cricket Updated: Mar 02, 2008 00:44 IST
Atreyo Mukhopadhyay
Atreyo Mukhopadhyay
Hindustan Times
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Pressurising the opponent before the start of a match by making points verbally is an art the Australians have mastered. Having been on the other side of it for weeks now, Mahendra Singh Dhoni seems to have learnt some of it as well, if Saturday's interaction with the media ahead of the tri-series finals were an indication.

He was expected to elaborate on the exuberance of youth at his disposal, which he did. He was also expected to say that this bunch of players would take time and not much should be read into how they fare over a short period. He did that too. Not many however, expected Dhoni to emphasise that this Australian team is not what it used to be.

"The major trait of the Australian team is that they look to dominate. It's very important to put them under pressure and that's how they have been in this competition. This is unlike Australian teams of the past that used to dominate an entire competition, like in the World Cup where they won all matches. It's not quite the same here, they are under pressure and it's important for us to sustain it and draw first blood."

Obviously, he was reminded of the mindgames that have hogged the headlines on this tour and Dhoni said there was no room to ignore them. But beyond a point, he said, it was important to focus on the task at hand. "These things have been going on and they will go on even after we speak here. What's important for us however is to remember that ultimately, we are here to play cricket. So we must focus on batting, bowling and fielding after taking into account everything else that is going on around us."