'Familiarity is not an advantage'

'Familiarity is not an advantage'

India and Sri Lanka clash frequently, especially in one-dayers, more than anyone else but MS Dhoni felt that familiarity with each other wasn’t necessarily an advantage for his side.

“Well, I think it works the same for both the sides,” he said here on Wednesday. “If we say we find it easier, then it would be the same for Sri Lanka. Yes, we play quite often; either we go to Sri Lanka or they come to India. We also have Asia Cup where the teams keep on playing against each other. I think it gives a basic idea of what the strengths and weaknesses of each and every individual whether it’s the bowlers or the batsmen. I think it helps both the sides to prepare themselves really well, and you can cut off those extra 15 minutes of time that you spend in a team meetings and keep it very small,” he analysed.

Dhoni then gave the example of Lasith Malinga, whom the Indian batsmen have dealt with effectively.

“The fact that we play amongst each other a lot, we see a lot of Malinga; we understand him better, we play him in the sub-continental conditions where he gets a lot of reverse swing. He is one of the most difficult bowlers to face. So I think it's all these small, small things that has really made that kind of an impact. Most of the batsmen have faced him, but still, he's one of the most difficult bowlers to score off freely.”

Dhoni didn’t believe that Sri Lanka were heavily dependent on Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakara. “I think they are a dangerous side, so we shouldn't just concentrate on two individuals,” he pointed out. “I think overall if you see their first seven batsmen all of them are very dangerous. We'll concentrate on all of them rather than thinking about the two individuals. But yes, they have done really well for Sri Lanka, so we have to be aware of that fact,” he reasoned.

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