We are open to playing Pakistan in India: Dhoni
Gurgaon: Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni today endorsed the idea of resuming bilateral cricketing ties with Pakistan but expressed doubts over scheduling of matches.
"If Pakistan comes and play here it`s good for us. But I don`t know about the scheduling... How they will fit it. We are open to it," Dhoni said here.
Relationship between India and Pakistan hit a low following the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks and bilateral cricket ties between the two countries were snapped since then.
But the BCCI`s invitation to PCB chief Zaka Ashraf for the IPL final and inclusion of a Pakistan team in the Champions League Twenty20 indicated that things are on the mend now.
Dhoni was surprised by Kevin Pietersen`s decision to announce retirement from the T20 and ODI format. The prolific England batsman quit the two forms today.
"That was a surprising news. That means he is not going to be part of IPL. He has been a fantastic cricketer. Not to forget his influence in the IPL.
"I really enjoyed his batting, really enjoyed his presence in the field, though not much as opposition. Hope he continues to do great in Test cricket," Dhoni said.
Asked about Viswanathan Anand`s feat of winning his fifth World Championship crown in Moscow yesterday, Dhoni said, "I am fortunate to have met him once in person. He is a fantastic person and what he has been doing over the years is amazing. Each and every Indian is proud of him."
Dhoni reiterated his view about Gautam Gambhir`s "aggressive" captaincy for Kolkata Knight Riders in the IPL.
"He is a bit more aggressive and expressive than me," said Dhoni who was here to launch a gymnasium `SportsFit by M S Dhoni`.
As discussion turned to fitness, Dhoni said it was football that helped him survive the gruelling international cricket calendar.
"I started off as a footballer, and it helped me in building a lot of endurance. It helped me in having strong legs that are so important.
"I like a lot of exercises that include jumping and running. Having a balanced diet and the timing is very important," he said.
"I am happy that there has been no serious breakdown since I started in 2004. Hope there is nothing serious in the future."
The Indian cricket team does not have any international assignments for the next one and a half months and Dhoni is hoping to fulfil his prior commitments in that period.
"There are lots of prior commitments. I will be going to be there with the Army and also devote some time in the `Save the Tiger Campaign`. And then I will also be spending time with family and hopefully go on a vacation," he said.
Asked about model Poonam Pandey`s dare-bare act -- she stripped after KKR`s IPL win and posted her pictures on twitter, Dhoni said "you need to have some spice". He, though, refrained from commenting further.