| Virender Sehwag, on Saturday |
Colombo: Mahendra Singh Dhoni is hoping the players don’t get too bothered about the result and are bold enough to express themselves in the key contest against Pakistan.
“The team has got the potential. But we will have to implement it on the field. The performance needs to reflect on the field and that is something which is very important. Also, what is important is that we go to the field and express ourselves…” he said.
“This is because we may not have a worse game than what really happened against Australia. So let’s go and express ourselves, let’s play some big shots and go in with a lot of confidence.
“Whatever the outcome, let’s not fear about the outcome… You know it’s a very different format and you cannot do a lot of planning… You can’t say you will do this, do that. Just go out, and if you have the talent, you have to express yourself.”
Friday’s loss to Australia has made Dhoni circumspect. He wasn’t willing to comment on the team composition or whether Virender Sehwag would be included in the playing XI. “We will choose the XI not only based on the opposition we are playing but also (based) on what kind of wicket we are playing on. After Friday’s game, we will keep a watch on the rain and we will see how it goes.”
He tried to downplay the pressure element involved in such high-voltage matches. “Well if you see we are always at the top of the pressure-chain. That is because of the expectation levels. Back home, we are expected to win everything. I don’t think the pressure will go beyond that limit because it’s always been there…
“So it doesn’t really matter to us. What’s important is to enjoy the game and not to think about the result too much,” the Team India captain explained.
He didn’t wish to predict on the nature of the wicket. “Well the wicket has slowed down a lot compared to the last few games we played here in the last series. Even Friday, when the Australian spinners were bowling, it was gripping and it wasn’t really coming onto the bat which meant that if you had a few variations, you can trouble the batsman. Especially the big shots were not easy to play...
“Considering the duration of break before every match, I still think it will be on the slower side because they will use the same strip.”
If the batting and bowling have been a cause for concern, the fielding has left him rather satisfied. “I am not too much worried about the fielding. Yeah there were a few misfields versus Australia, but if you see this particular cricket stadium, it’s a bit bumpy right now. I don’t know the reason, may be because of the monsoons… So misfields can happen.
“You just have to wait for your turn. If there’s bad bounce and if it’s your turn, you will end up doing badly on the field for sure. It is not only us, a few other sides are also struggling with that and we are hoping that it doesn’t become critical when two or three runs can matter.”
Related reports: Page 22