Dhoni eases pressure of team-mates ahead of WC selection
Johannesburg: The team’s performance in Saturday’s second one-dayer against South Africa here would not be the deciding factor in selecting the players for the upcoming World Cup, India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni said on Friday.
The selectors will handpick India’s final 15-man squad for the World Cup on January 17 in Chennai and on Saturday’s ODI in the ongoing five-match series is the last chance for the players to impress upon the selection committee.
But Dhoni said it is the players consistency which would be looked at while preparing the final list.
“Not really, as not just one performance will matter. Guys who have worked hard for the last year-and-a-half they may get a chance. So here at Wanderers we will try to field the best possible playing eleven,” the Indian skipper said.
“I think for the World Cup, fight is on for just one or two position as rest of the players will choose themselves. Basically, it is up to the selectors. Here in South Africa we will try and give chance to as many players as possible to play in the final eleven,” Dhoni said at the pre-match press conference.
The Indian captain also informed that pacer S Sreesanth, who missed the first ODI due to a mild tennis elbow, was available for selection on Saturday.
After a complete flop show in the first ODI, where they lost by a humiliating 135 runs to South Africa, Dhoni asked his boys not to let go opportunities on Saturday.
“Main thing will be to go on the field with positive intent. Being selective will be crucial but you have to score runs on bad balls. You cannot just try to survive by scoring just two or three runs per over. Of course there will be something for the fast bowlers especially if you are bowling under lights,” he said.
The wicket-keeper batsman said he was not thinking about the weather and toss ahead of the match.
“Weather and toss is beyond your control. We will keep an eye on the forecast but about toss we have no control. We have to look at what is the weather at 2.30pm on Saturday. We should not think too much if we lose the toss.”
“Giving your 100 percent is more important. If you are letting your mind affect your thought process after losing toss then you are not giving 100 percent,” Dhoni said.
“It doesn’t matter whether we have won or lost the first match because we have to start from the scratch on Saturday. We have to play to our potential to win here,” he added.
Dhoni also rebuffed suggestions that tough conditions at a high-altitude ground like the Wanderers would make life tough for the Indian players.
“Ball travels really fast here. While fielding or even while batting, ball will come to you a bit faster. But most of us have played here so that should not be a problem,” he said.