Team looking fresh, says skipper Dhoni
Breaks are a rarity in Indian cricket and the one-and-a-half month gap between the IPL and the Sri Lanka series was lapped up by one and all in the Indian team. Skipper MS Dhoni looked fresh and raring to go in the couple of practice sessions that he had over the last couple of days and when he met the media on Tuesday evening, he said how important this break was for all the boys. "The first break we got since my debut in 2004 was after the 2007 World Cup.
We do not really have fond memories of that break...So this was something we were looking for and we can see that in the body language of the players," Dhoni said. When asked whether such breaks should be made mandatory every year, the Indian captain went a little on the defensive. "Given the calendar we have, it's a little difficult to get such breaks every year...But this year, we have gaps between series, so that should help."
Dhoni said that the practice sessions, looking ahead to the series against Sri Lanka, went very well. "The boys were fresh and we had some specific training sessions which helped in overall improvement...We will now leave for Sri Lanka, battle-ready," he said. But the skipper made it clear that the series against Sri Lanka won't be easy. "Sri Lanka have always been a tough team and we will be playing in different venues.
It's the beginning of the season for us and it's vitally important that we start it on a high. A win here should help us gather momentum for the future," he said. Gautam Gambhir had mentioned on Monday that a captain is always as good as his team and Dhoni didn't differ too much. "If you give the best captain in the world Alaska's cricket team, they will obviously not win...I believe the captain's job is to channelise the resources that are at hand and I always try to do that."
The India-Pakistan series also came up for discussion, and Dhoni, who has some great memories of playing the arch-rivals, didn't want to dwell too much on sentiments. "When we grow up as professional cricketers, we are taught that sentiment doesn't matter. Our job is to go out there in the middle and perform and that's what we will do when we play Pakistan," Dhoni signed off.