Big challenge for newcomers: MSD

Skipper plays down favourites' tag

Big challenge for newcomers: MSD

Playing down the tag of favourites in the three-match ODI series, MS Dhoni stressed on the importance of playing good cricket on a particular day, especially so in one-dayers. On the eve of Thursday’s first match here, the Indian skipper shared his thoughts with the media.

Excerpts:

On whether familiarity with players is an advantage: It works both ways. The more we know them, it is the same with them. They spend a lot of time with us. Also if you see, I made my debut in 2004 and after that we have toured South Africa quite a few times. Not just international matches, but IPL and Champions League too.

The guys are quite familiar with the conditions out here. I still feel South Africa is one place where a lot depends on how the wicket is prepared and how the overhead conditions are, weather it’s overcast or a bright sunny day. Overall a lot will depend on what the circumstances are on that particular day. Keeping all that aside, we all have a lot of love and respect for the South African players. Whenever we have played a series against them it has been a tough series.

On the challenges in SA: I think one of the big challenges is getting used to pace and bounce. If you are just new to international circuit, it becomes even more of a challenge. The reason being, in India even on the best of wickets, you don’t get the same kind of pace or the same kind of bowlers who bowl the same pace.

I think it becomes slightly more diffiuclt for players who have just made their debuts. At the same time, for players, who have been playing for the last few seasons and who have got a decent outing all over the world, they will know exactly how the conditions will be. That gives them that edge to adapt quickly. At the end of the day, experience counts.

On his preference -- defending total or chasing it: I am not sure about it. We have won games where we have not scored too much. At the same time, we have won games where we have scored 350 while chasing. In the past one year, we will have equal instances of us chasing down over 300 and defending something close to 150. Of course the number of overs was reduced. For me, to right now say, which is the better pick, I am not sure.

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