Dhoni exudes confidence

Dhoni exudes confidence

Dhoni exudes confidence

MS Dhoni has been under the media lens for his reticent approach on questions regarding the spot-fixing scandal in IPL VI. While maintaining that the team wasn’t bothered about off-field distractions, the Indian captain said everyone was looking forward to the challenge ahead. Excerpts.

Team’s confidence after Tuesday’s win (over Australia)...

I think it's a good performance overall. We didn't get off to a good start (while batting), but it was nice to see our partnership going and we were able to capitalise on that and get runs in the second Power Play and also in the slog. With the introduction of the new laws -- the fact that you have one extra fielder inside (four instead of five earlier) -- even if you have one wicket in hand, you can really exploit the conditions and get a lot of runs.

Considering that, I think the performance with the new ball in the last game was really good. There was not much swing for them, but there was variable bounce and it was important that the ball was really close to the off-stump mark.

You enjoy the largest fan base for a team in the UK. Do expectations put pressure on you?

That's an interesting one because if you don't have fans, people say you missed the home condition or the support of the fans. When you have the fans, people talk about the burden of expectation. So, I think when it comes to an Indian cricket team, we are never in a situation where there is no pressure or the burden of expectation of the fan following.

India not lost to South Africa in Champions Trophy... is that something that weighs on your mind?

I just got aware of the fact that they have not beaten us in Champions Trophy. But as I always say, it is a fresh start, so we have to do all the right things again. So we hope it goes in our favour, but just because a stat is in our favour, doesn't really mean we'll win the game.

What is your take on Jacques Kallis’ absence from the South African team?

Well, if you see Kallis, he is someone who is very difficult to replace. (But) Even without him, South Africa are still a very good side. When it comes to the talent aspect, they are one of the best in the world. And in the Champions Trophy, the best teams play. So I think none of the teams can be taken for granted. I think each and every team is well balanced, and they're looking good.