No special plans but will have the same approach, says Dhoni
Birmingham: India have not devised any "special plans" for the ICC Champions Trophy final against hosts England, according to captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni who said his team will just go in with the same approach like they did in the previous matches.
"We dont have any special plans. We will go with the same approach like we did in the match against Pakistan and the semifinal (versus Sri Lanka)," Dhoni said at the pre-match press conference today.
Dhoni said his bowlers have done a good job in the tournament so far but death bowling was a bit of a concern.
"We have exploited the condition well and we have bowled the right areas, which I feel is very important. Also, what we have done is bowled in one area quite consistently.
"But still, death bowling is a concern. It`s an area we need to improve as a team," Dhoni said.
India have so far played very good cricket in the Champions Trophy and Dhoni said the first 10 overs was very important for any side while bowling as well as batting.
"I think so far in this tournament that`s what we have seen. If you get off to a very good start, batting or bowling, you are able to put pressure on the middle order and then you can restrict the opposition from scoring freely," the Indian skipper said.
"Or, if you are batting first if you have wickets, you can get those extra 20 or 25 runs and it can prove very crucial because with the five fielders inside, you want that cushioning of those extra 20 to 25 runs."
Dhoni admitted that England`s pace attack had the quality to test the best of batsmen, but said India`s top-order was fully prepared to tackle the English bowlers.
"The English are a very good team, especially the bowlers. What we are positive about is the fact that our top-order has done well, and also the fact that they have played some of the best bowlers in world cricket so far in the tournament. So I think they are quite well prepared for the English bowlers, it`s just that like in every game, you have to apply," Dhoni said.
Dhoni was full of praise for his spin duo of Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja, who according to him are "hunting in pairs" in the ongoing Champions Trophy.
"What`s important is to realise is that they are a bowling unit, and it`s the impact that every individual has. If one of them is bowling brilliantly, it can actually put pressure on the other guy who`s bowling from the other end.
"So I think it`s very important that they hunt in pairs, and I think that`s what they have been doing really well so far. When Jadeja puts the pressure, Ashwin gets the wicket; when Ashwin puts the pressure, Jadeja gets the wicket. Both of them are very crucial for each other`s success and for the success of the team," he said.
The Indian captain didn`t read much into India`s horrible English summer in 2011.
India were whitewashed in both the Test and ODI series, but Dhoni doesn`t want history to haunt the current team`s mental preparation.
"Well, you go through ups and downs. I think what`s important is to accept the fact that we didn`t do really well in that series. We have done well in this series so let`s think about that," Dhoni said.
Dhoni said India`s ODI performance in 2011 was relatively better than the Tests and the team was hampered by injuries and rain.
"I lost all the tosses and every game it rained. We were supposed to operate with two spinners, and with the wet ball it became very difficult," he explained.
With rain threatening Sunday`s final, Dhoni said the toss could become a factor but a lot will depend on the immediate conditions.
"If it`s bright and sunny, I don`t think it will have that much of an impact, but if it`s overcast and there is a bit of rain before the start of the game, then it may have an impact on the game. So I think as of now it`s quite balanced. I don`t think the toss will be very crucial," he said.
Dhoni said it was an important final from Indian point of view.
"We will have good support and we must play for the fans. It should be a good game for the spectators," the skipper said with a large grin.
Even though some decisions went in India`s favour in the ongoing Champions Trophy, Dhoni said he was not fully convinced about the mandatory usage of the controversial Decision Review System in international cricket.
"You`ll have to wait and watch and see. Still I don`t like it. Two wickets gone, one of Kevin Pietersen, the other of Mahela Jayawardene, so there`s no good reason why I should like it," he said.
"But it`s there to take the blunders away from the game, something like a big inside edge goes on to the bat, the batsman has an advantage and the same. So we`ll have to wait and watch how it goes," he added.