England pacers` height not a big factor, says Dhoni
London: Skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni has rubbished suggestions that the height of England pacers could pose problems to the star-studded Indian batting line-up during the four-match Test series, starting on Thursday.
"Their fast bowling attack is pretty similar (as in 2007). They had (Chris) Tremlett, (James) Anderson and (Ryan) Sidebottom who all are very tall. It`s not a big factor," said Dhoni about the bowling attack whose height is said to give the home team a major advantage.
Anderson, at 6`2", is the "smallest" among England`s fast-bowling unit that has Stuart Broad (6`6") and Chris Tremlett (6`7") among others.
India have long shed the tag of poor travelers thanks to their consistent record over the past few years, and Dhoni attributed this to the team`s ability to enjoy the game and to situations rather than worry about results.
"In the last 4-5 years, what we wanted was to enjoy the game and situation. Every conditions is different, every country is challenging. As long as you look to improve as a cricketer, learn to enjoy the game more and not take it as a pressure, it would be alright. “
"The expectation with Indian cricket is pretty high - it`s not easy to satisfy 1.2 billion people. It`s better not to focus on result. You could play to your best and still be outplayed," Dhoni said on the eve of the first Test at the Lord`s.
Talking about Sachin Tendulkar, who is chasing a record 100 international centuries, Dhoni had only words of admiration for the senior batsman.
"Whenever he turns up on the field, he wants to improve. He may spend an hour and a half on the field but he makes sure he is learning something new. When he goes back to his room, he has the satisfaction that he has utilised today`s time to the best.”
"I think that keeps him going; keep it simple, don`t complicate things. He is an ideal cricketer to look up to, both on and off the field. When he made his debut, he was a superstar and it hasn`t changed in the last 22 years," the India skipper said.
Dhoni believed both the number one Test ranking and the tag of world champions in one-day cricket is important to him and his players.
"It shows you have been consistent over a period of time. You don`t reach that level unless you have been consistent me.”
"It`s special for us."
One often gets to hear that luck always played a part in Dhoni`s success and when asked, he admitted that as he is yet to lose a Test series in his stint as skipper.
"When I was playing state cricket in 1999, if somebody had told me you would play with Sachin, I would have termed it a lie.”
"I never thought I would play for India and share the same dressing room with Tendulkar and some other legends of Indian cricket. As long as the team is winning, I don`t mind what they call me."