Ready for the ball
The rest of the world may get tired just looking at the Indian cricket team's hectic schedule, but for Mahendra Singh Dhoni it is business as usual. “Fatigue is not really a factor for us,” Dhoni said at Lord's, Venkat Ananth reports.Updated: Jun 01, 2009, 00:45 IST
At the same time Dhoni conceded that Zaheer Khan was not fit at the moment and that the team was sweating over his fitness ahead of their first game against Bangladesh on June 6.When asked if the IPL will hand India a distinct advantage, Dhoni said anyone who took part in the tournament stood to benefit. "It will help us. Not just us but also the international players who participated in it. But we will get more help because of the youngsters. The best thing about it is that the youngsters get to experience pressure and learn to react to it. Playing the likes of really quick bowlers like Brett Lee and spinners like Shane Warne and Muttiah Muralitharan obviously is only going to help. IPL is an ideal breeding ground for all the youngsters," he said.
On the conditions India might encounter in England, Dhoni said, “Conditons matter only a bit in T20 cricket. I think there would be flat wickets in the tournament. From the organisers’ point of view, they would want exciting cricket and it won’t be a typical English wicket. Having said that, we had equally tough conditions in SA. I am expecting the spinners to have a big part to play in the tournament, especially in containing the runs.”Despite playing not-so-strong opponents early in the group stages, Dhoni felt it was necessary to guard against potential complacency. "Nothing is easy, cricket is a very cruel game. The moment you relax, that’s when it becomes the biggest mistake. We are not taking any sides lightly. Each side presents a tough challenge."
Dhoni revealed that his team was not looking at the overall result but taking each match and each practice session at a time. “We're not really thinking about the result, we believe in taking one game at a time and that really helps,” he said.On the evolution of T20 cricket into a mainstream format, Dhoni said, "Every format has its own importance today. T20 is one of the most exciting formats and it's for the spectators. You have music, wickets falling at regular intervals, boundaries and sixes. T20 cricket is here to stay."