An honour to lead India at Lord’s in 100th Test, says Dhoni

July 20th, 2011 - 9:30 pm ICT by IANS  

London, July 20 (IANS) India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni said that it would be an honour for him to lead the world No.1 side against England at Lord’s in the 100th Test between the two nations. The match will also be the 2000th Test in the history of the game.

Dhoni said the first Test of the four-match series would be a “big one” and the team would try its best to live up to the expectations of 1.2 billion fans back home.

“It is obviously big, leading 15 people who have the expectation of 1.2 billion. It’s a special game, playing at Lord’s is always special, but overall, rather than thinking too much about the numbers, we can just look at the number and be proud. It is an honour, it is very special. But at the same time it is an added responsibility. You want the Indian team to win each and every game, which is not possible. Still, that is what you are expected to do,” said Dhoni on the eve of the match.

“You can’t play 100 games with one nation, but when you have left cricket you can look back and say you played in the 100th Test between India and England, and 2,000th when it comes to the history. We can be proud we are playing but at the same time we need to stick to the basics and enjoy the game.”

Asked about the secret of his success, Dhoni said: “The first and foremost point is to have a good side. Trying to keep it simple is important, especially when you have the expectation of 1.2 billion people.”

“What we really emphasise is enjoying the game. More often than not when you are part of of the India team you can’t do that because of the hype around cricket. When we take the field we are expected to win each and every game which we know is not possible. What is possible is to prepare well, go out and try to reflect what you have done in the practice sessions and the talent you have.”

Dhoni said whenever the team travels overseas it tries to enjoy the game and consider pressure as the added responsibility.

“We can talk about the last four-five years. Once we came abroad we wanted to enjoy the game and the situation. You travel to different countries and face different challenges, whether it’s New Zealand, England, Australia, or the West Indies. So I felt it was very important to look at it as an examination. Irrespective of where you are playing, all you are looking to do is improve as a cricketer. The whole team started to enjoy the game more and taking the pressure as added responsibility,” he said.

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