Wednesday 22 January 2020

Dhoni and Co ready for review system


With the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) refusing to use the Umpire Decision Review System (UDRS) so far, one would have thought that the UDRS would catch India by surprise when it makes its World Cup debut this time around.

But India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni made it clear on Wednesday that the Indian team was prepared to handle the system. “We are ready for the UDRS. We have done background checks and won’t be caught unawares. Some captains have supported the UDRS and like it, but it would be interesting to see their reactions when the decisions go against them,” Dhoni said at a promotional event here.

Dhoni said his team wouldn’t be bogged down by the expectations of the Indian fans and would like to give it their best shot. “We don’t call it the pressure of expectation anymore. We call it added responsibility. Whenever we play a match, the expectation factor is there. We knew that this time the World Cup would be played in India, so we were mentally prepared. We have players who have played for eight to 12 years so I am sure that they will be able to handle the pressure,” he said. “We believe in each other’s abilities and have a great team spirit. We are intent on performing well and if we can play to our potential, we will do well. We want to win the World Cup although I am not keen on predicting if we will. As of now, we are looking to take the opening game against Bangladesh seriously.”

Commenting on the cliche that every Indian player wants to win the Cup for master blaster Sachin Tendulkar, Dhoni said: “We all love Sachin and practically this will be his last World Cup – although we would love him to play one or two more – so we want to give him the biggest gift.

Even though England star Kevin Pietersen slammed the scheduling of the showpiece event, Dhoni feels it will help his players. “I like the format and I feel that the scheduling is perfect for us. I think the gap in between matches work in our favour as some of our players are carrying niggles. So the time in between matches will help them recover,” he said.

While the form of Yuvraj Singh, Suresh Raina and Dhoni has been a cause for concern, the skipper feels it is just a matter of time before the trio gets going. “Form is just a matter of time. One good innings can brings us back into form. So I am not overly worried,” he said.

Although India have a problem of plenty in selecting the batting order, Dhoni feels it is a blessing in disguise rather than a headache. “Having more in-form players during a crucial tournament like the World Cup can never be a headache. On the contrary, I feel it will stand us in good stead. If we have more players in form, we can pick a suitable playing XI,” he said.

Commenting on the lack of express fast bowlers in the team, Dhoni said: “We haven’t got express bowlers in the team, but we have guys who can bowl at a decent pace and know the conditions really well. Our bowling also has a lot of variation.”

With Eden Gardens missing out on the match between India and England, Dhoni is disappointed. “Eden is a special ground. It is a joy to play in front of so many people. But there is nothing we can do about the cancellation. Hopefully the remaining three matches will take place,” he said.

Commenting on the camp that will take place in Bangalore, Dhoni said: “It will be a short camp and we will look to utilise it in the best possible manner. We will start either on February 8 or 9.”


Leg-spinner Piyush Chawla defended his selection saying that he had done enough to get a call-up for the World Cup. “There is always pressure when you play for India. And when there is pressure there is performance. I have nothing to prove as I have proved myself a number of times and I will do it again in the World Cup – if given an opportunity,” he said.


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