M.S. Dhoni is confident that India’s batsmen can handle England’s quick bowlers when the teams meet in the Champions Trophy final on Sunday.
“What we are positive about is that our top order has played some of the best bowlers in world cricket so far in the tournament and done well,” he said. “So they are well prepared for the English bowlers. It’s just that, like in every game, you have to apply yourself.”
Dhoni said India’s approach would be the same it had been for the other games. “Well, we prepare in the same way that we prepared for the semifinals, or when we played against Pakistan. It remains the same, and that’s what our emphasis is on.”
1983, a special year
Reminded that the 30th anniversary of India’s first World Cup win was around the corner, Dhoni said: “1983 was a very special year for us, winning the World Cup for the first time. I would like to wish each and every person who was part of that team, the support staff and whoever was involved, (and say) thanks for giving us the ‘83 World Cup.”
England captain Alastair Cook, meanwhile, admitted that the country’s 38-year hunt for a major trophy was on the players’ minds.
“It’s something which is obviously on our radar. It is very important for us, and one of our major goals this summer was to try and win the Champions Trophy. Not only will it break that duck of 38 years but prepare us for the World Cup as well, if you’re looking long-term.”
Cook said that the team was determined to make the most of this opportunity. “We’re desperate not to let go,” he said. “We’ve been playing a lot this summer, and we’ve been playing some good one-day cricket the last few games. It’s a one-off day. I’m fully confident in our guys that we can upset India in the final.”
Cook admitted, though, that India was the favourite. “They (India) are probably the favourites and they haven’t lost because both the key aspects of the game are working really well. They’re scoring runs at the top of the order and taking wickets with the new ball.”