Dhoni downplays hype - Tuesday, March 29th 2011

Source : http://worldcup2011.cricket365.com/news/view/dhoni_talks_down_the_hype_world_cup_2011

Indian captain Mahendra Dhoni insists that he and his players will not be swept away by the media frenzy surrounding their last-four showdown against Pakistan on Wednesday.
The highly anticipated battle between the sub-continental rivals has received extensive attention in the build-up this week and the game will be attended by - amongst others - Indian prime minister Manmohan Singh and his Pakistan counterpart Yousuf Raza Gilani.
While India will be under immense pressure in front of an expectant home crowd in Mohali, Dhoni has urged his players to keep their focus on on-field matters.
“We know the kind of media hype India-Pakistan matches generate,” said the Indian captain. “We are not getting involved in all this. We need to know what we are expected to do and focus on that.
“All this is part of cricket and we have to accept it. But the key is not to get involved.
“We will have the biggest distinguished guests to see the match, we have to be at our best.
“We all know it’s a big tournament, we have prepared a lot for it and its better to take it one game at a time.
“We are playing the semi-finals but the most important thing is how we prepare ourselves.
“I think you need to prepare in the same way and that’s what we have been doing for the past few days.”
While the Indian top order has been firing during the World Cup, Dhoni himself is yet to make a major contribution with the bat, with a highest score of 34 in his six innings in the competition. The 29-year-old is adamant that a lack of runs has nothing to do with the pressures of captaincy in such a major tournament.
“It is only a cricketing aspect, I have been batting quite well,” he said.
“Sometimes the situations are not great to play flamboyant cricket. In the Bangladesh match, such a situation was there but I didn’t get to bat.
“If you are batting at number five, six or seven you don’t get to bat much if the top order scores.
“I think the last game (against Australia) was ideal but it (the ball) went straight to a fielder. It does not go your way always. Form has not been a worry.”
While India’s greatest strength is the their top order, Pakistan have proven dangerous with the ball, something which has not gone amiss on the Indian captain.
“I think they are a very good bowling attack, they have got bowlers who can bowl quick and at the same time their spinners have been doing really well and they have got part-timers who can contribute,” he added.
“They have a couple of bowling all-rounders with (Abdul) Razzaq and (Shahid) Afridi, that gives them the liberty of playing with more than five bowlers.

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