Mahendra Singh Dhoni is of the opinion that it is important for his team to stay detached from the hype surrounding the World Cup and just focus on playing good cricket.
“A lot of hype is always created around the World Cup and this time it is being played in India and we are expected to win. Expectations will always be there and it won't be right to consider this as the final frontier.
“It is one of the big tournaments and the team needs to do well. What we need to realise is that it is always the process and preparation that will help us achieve success and not thinking about how big the tournament is,” Dhoni told the media here on Thursday.
“It is unfortunate that Praveen has to miss the World Cup. He is a street-smart cricketer and we will miss him,” Dhoni said, adding that there were no other injury concerns.
With speculation mounting over this being Sachin Tendulkar's last World Cup and the imminent exit of coach Gary Kirsten after the tournament, Dhoni said: “There are always plenty of issues that surround our team but we are quite good at distracting ourselves from these issues and just concentrate on the process and preparation. But still the fact remains that this will be the last World Cup for Sachin and most likely the last tournament for Gary Kirsten as our coach.”
From being a player in the 2007 World Cup in the West Indies, to being the captain now, Dhoni has charted a soaring career graph. The skipper, however, shifted attention to his team.
“It is an added responsibility and not pressure. When you are playing for India you won't play a single game where there is no pressure. We have got some very experienced players and some talented youngsters who can really change the course of the game,” Dhoni said.
India starts its World Cup campaign with the inaugural match against Bangladesh at Dhaka on February 19 and the team does have the unhappy memory of losing against the same opponent in 2007.
Dhoni though preferred to look forward. “It is a fresh start and we need to do well,” the skipper said. However when prodded on the after-effects of the early exit from the tournament's last edition, he said: “It took us a longer time to get over the defeat because we were not playing cricket for some time after the tournament. The only way to get out of a depression is to get out and play. It took us nearly a month because the next series we played was in Bangladesh after a month.”
The competition for batting slots among Virat Kohli, Yusuf Pathan and Suresh Raina has also enthused Dhoni.
“It is good if people are fighting for one slot,” Dhoni said and mentioned that team strategies would revolve around ground conditions and the dew-factor.
“In that scenario (dew) while having an extra spinner, it is always better to bowl first,” Dhoni added.
A cautious Dhoni termed all rival teams as threats.
“All the teams are dangerous. All the teams will go with their best bowling line-up, irrespective of whether it features more fast bowlers or spinners but if you have a quality spinner then that spinner gains an edge over the fast bowler,” the skipper said.