'We need to apply ourselves'

MS Dhoni understands the significance of Sunday’s Champions Trophy final but as has been his wont, the Indian skipper maintained a calm demeanour during the pre-match media conference, coming out with measured responses. Excerpts.  

Is the lack of batting for the middle order a concern at all ahead of the big final?  
The important thing is what could have been done. You're not allowed to bring your batsmen in like a warm-up game, so I think the best that we could have managed was give the guys who have not batted a bit of extra batting in the practice session, and that's what we have done so far.

Your comments ahead of the 30th anniversary of India's 1983 World Cup win.

1983 – it’s a very special year for us, winning the World Cup for the first time. I would like to wish each and every person who was part of that team and the support staff and whoever who all were involved, thanks for giving us the '83 World Cup. 

How much of a stern challenge will this England attack be and how highly do you rate them, especially James Anderson?

The English team is a very good team, especially the bowlers. What we are positive about is the fact our top order has done well, and also the fact they have played some of the best bowlers in world cricket so far in the tournament.  So I think they are quite well prepared for the English bowlers. Like in every game, you have to apply. So we'll wait and watch. 

2011 tour to England was quite disappointing for India. Do you think you have salvaged some pride from this tournament?

So far as ODIs are concerned, yes we have. In Tests I don't think our performance was really great.  Of course we were hampered by lots of injuries to our players. But I think the performance in ODIs was good. Not to forget all the five games I lost the tosses and every game it rained. We were supposed to operate with two spinners, and with the wet ball it becomes very difficult. You go through ups and downs. You do well, and all of a sudden you say, okay, this is because of that series. We didn't do well, and now we are back and all those things. I think what's important is to accept the fact that yes, we didn't do really well in that series, and think about the stuff that we have done well in this series, how we have prepared and all those things.  

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