Players have not spoken to BCCI about skipping NZ ODIs: Dhoni

"Not done (written to the Board) anything like that as of now. No confirmation has been sent from the players' side to the BCCI yet and nothing has been received from the BCCI either. This is what I have to say," said Dhoni at the mandatory press conference ahead of tomorrow's third and the final ODI against Australia which is threatened by rains.

He was replying to a query on reports quoting BCCI sources that some top players, including Dhoni, will not play the five-match ODI series against New Zealand after the three-Test rubber against the same opponents and, instead, jet off to South Africa to get more acclimatisation time for the Test rubber against the Proteas.

India have not won a Test rubber in South Africa and are currently the world's number one Test side.

Dhoni said that all these things can be kept on the back burner as the team was looking at tomorrow's clash against Australia which, if the hosts win, would close out the three-match series 2-0 in their favour and provide India with their first ODI series win at home against the formidable opponents in more than two decades.

"Tomorrow's game is more important to us right now rather than thinking about what to do after the New Zealand series. As I always say, I don't think too much about the future. After that (ODI series v Australia) what is important is the utilisation of the 4-5 days' break that we have got, then concentrate on the Test series (v NZ).

"And after that if we get some time we will see what can be done and what needs to be done," Dhoni said.

The India captain conceded that the home team's bowling in the end overs of the 50-over games is not a matter of recent concern but has been bothering them for over the last 18 months.

"The last ten overs have always been a big concern for us. It's not a worry we have had (only) over the last 2 or 3 months. We have been bothered by the last ten overs for a long time now - 1 to 1 and 1/2 years. We had done well in between but have not been really consistent. It's still an area where we can definitely improve," Dhoni said.

"Changing gears is important when it comes to switching the format. But at the same time you have to be aware of the opportunities that you have in T20s, ODIs and Test cricket, which are completely different," said Dhoni.

"You just need to change your approach a bit. As an international cricketer you know your strengths and weaknesses and if the ball is in your area it does not matter what format it is, you should always go for the runs. Switching is more of a mental aspect. (It's) equally tough switching from Tests to ODIs or ODIs to Tests as both formats are demanding."

Dhoni felt that the team had done very well in the competition against Australia and hoped tomorrow's game would take place despite the amount of rain that has fallen here.

"I personally feel we have done well. In the Test series not only the batsmen and bowlers the part timers (too) contributed. Lower-order batsmen stood (at the wicket) when needed. Youngsters grabbed at the opportunity thrown to them.

"Three-match ODI series is not good enough, but at the same time we tried to get the most out of it. The first game was a wash out, second game we won and hopefully the third game will happen," he said.

Dhoni also ruled out the chance of his moving up the order to bat at no. 3, where he had done exceedingly well, till some new batsmen are groomed to take the position at no. 5 or 6 and show enough capacity to finish the game.

"At no. 3 I have done decently well. If you have people who can do the job up the order I would rather bat down the order at no 5 or 6. Especially in this side there are plenty of players who can do what I have done at no. 3 but batting at no 5 or 6 needs a bit more experience to finish the game.

"May be if somebody gets groomed and analyses the game very well and is able to bat at no. 5 and 6 and closes the game more often than not, may be, I will try before it gets too late to bat at no. 3," he concluded.

 

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