I am not under any pressure: DhoniNovember 5th, 2008 - 8:44 pm ICT by IANS
Nagpur, Nov 5 (IANS) Taking over Test captaincy from Anil Kumble, Mahendra Singh Dhoni appeared unfazed by any pressure as he leads India in the fourth and last Test against Australia, starting here Thursday.Dhoni dismissed Australian captain Ricky Ponting’s suggestion that his side will be distracted by Sourav Ganguly’s last international match, V.V.S Laxman’s 100th Test and the absence of Gautam Gambhir.
“You must look at the positives. If it is V.V.S. Laxman’s 100th Test then the positive side is that he has played 99 Tests. In the same way, Sourav has played a lot of Tests. So, it is not a distraction for any of the guys,” Dhoni said.
“We just need to focus on the things we need to do. We have prepared well and executed the plans well in the series.”
Asked about the pressure of leading the side in such a crucial match, Dhoni said: “There is no difference whether you are captain for one match or for the full series. You still have the same responsibility.”
“The team is under pressure when a player is not in good rhythm. But everything is going on well. All players have contributed by taking wickets and putting on runs on board. If things go on this way there is no problem.”
Dhoni said Gambhir’s absence will be felt as the Delhi opener is sitting out after the International Cricket Council appeals commissioner upheld a one-Test ban imposed on him by Match Referee Chris Broad.
“Gambhir is the man in form, having scored loads of runs. A good start really matters, after that you can capitalise on it to post a big score.”
Dhoni said Tamil Nadu opener Murali Vijay is all set to make his debut.
“I think we are going in with Vijay. He will open the innings. We have confidence in him and hopefully he will give us aq good start.”
Asked whether Dravid is an opening option, Dhoni said: “As of now Vijay will open the innings, but there can be a last-minute change of plan.”
“Dravid has flu, he is on medication, but he will be fit for the match,” said Dhoni
On the wicket, he said: “It looks like a normal Indian wicket without any grass. There is a good chance of the ball reversing and the fast bowlers will have a major role to play. Hopefully the wicket will break and assist the spinners as well as the game progresses.”