India's cricket captain M.S. Dhoni expects his team to do justice to the talent available at the Champions Trophy 2009. “
The amount of talent we have got, it must reflect in the results,” he said at a media briefing prior to the side's departure for South Africa.
The world number one ranking in one-day cricket is not something he loses sleep about. “We don't think about rankings. If you keep winning, rankings will take care of itself.”
Gautam Gambhir cleared a fitness test at the Bandra Kurla Complex, conducted under coach Gary Kirsten's supervision. Gambhir's availability and Rahul Dravid's presence evoked a mix of relief and confidence from the Indian captain. “We will miss Virender Sehwag and Zaheer Khan, but can't do much when injury is concerned.
Gambhir declared fit will help us get a good start. Without runs at the top, it becomes difficult,” said Dhoni.
Upbeat about Dravid's utility on South African wickets, Dhoni said, “It is ideal to have a batsman like Dravid at No.3 on tracks supposed to be helpful for fast bowlers.
It becomes easier for the later batsmen to take off from the platform created by number three.”
Dhoni, emphatic about playing three fast bowlers in the Champions Trophy, expressed his worry over the fielding.
“The fielding standard has gone down, whatever the reason may be. We are missing run-outs, dropping a few catches. The team won't really improve overnight. I am looking for gradual progress so that we can save about 30 runs. It can make a huge difference in a close match,” he said.
He denied India was favourite at the Champions Trophy. “We are not taking any team lightly. Competition will be tough in the Champions Trophy. We are happy to be going into CT after playing the corporate trophy, then a few matches in Sri Lanka,” Dhoni said.
Asked about his choice of format between T20, Test and the 50-overs now in throes of change, Dhoni said: “I love all three formats, the way it is. Test cricket is a different challenge, now we have T20. I also respect the one-day format.
”He refused to react about Andrew Flintoff's choice of freelance over the security of an ECB contract. “I don't want to comment without knowing the reasons. What we know is through comments in the media about Flintoff's personal decision.”