Dhoni urges Team India to adapt quickly to new ICC Champions Trophy rules

Updated: Jun 06, 2013, 14:24 PM IST

Cardiff ( Wales): Indian cricket captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni has said the team will have to adapt quickly to the new set of one-day cricket rules that will be applicable during the ICC Champions Trophy, when they take on South Africa in the first match of the tournament on Thursday.

Speaking ahead of Thursday`s encounter against the Proteas, Dhoni said that while India are world one-day champions, none of the trophies won go into his cabinet.

Emphasising that it was all about performance as far as Team India is concerned, he said the players were not even thinking about winning the trophy just yet, nor had the issue crossed their minds.

"What we are really looking forward to is the challenge. This is the first time that we will be playing under the new set of rules outside India, and we need to adapt quickly and see how our boys are reacting when they are batting and also the bowlers to the different scenario. So overall that is what we are looking forward," Dhoni said at a media meet after practice.

He said that the team strategy would be focussed on saving wickets during the initial overs of the game, and thereafter on building up tempo to set challenging totals for the opponents.

"If you see the statistics, you know, more often that most sides will be happy to get 40 to 45 odd runs in the first five to ten overs, and keep as many wickets intact as possible. And after that the fifth fielder comes inside, and throughout, you can look to accelerate a bit and that loss of extra 20 runs in the first ten or fifteen overs, you can really make up and have wickets in hand," Dhoni said.

"So, I think, that will be the strategy for most of the teams. To look to save wickets upfront, give a bit more respect to the fast bowlers initially," he added.

India has played two warm up matches before the start of the tournament, against Sri Lanka and Australia, winning both of them by convincing margins.

On Wednesday, the Indians sweated it out at the nets.

The Champions Trophy is the second biggest one-day tournament played between all Test playing nations, the first being the World Cup.

Two groups with four teams each participate in a round-robin format in the first round with the top two teams from each group qualifying for the semi-final.

India is placed in Group B, along with South Africa, Pakistan and the West Indies.

Group A, on the other hand, consists of Australia, England, Sri Lanka and New Zealand.

The final will be played on June 23. By Praful Kumar Singh