Keeping it simple helped: Dhoni

Keeping it simple helped: Dhoni

Keeping it simple helped: Dhoni

Perth: From being no-hopers to one of the top contenders to win the World Cup, India’s transformation after just two matches, spread over a week’s time, has been remarkable.

Following a winless Test series and an even poorer tri-series, not many gave the defending champions a hope in hell but MS Dhoni and company have become the talk of the town with two crushing wins over Pakistan and South Africa in Group A.
   
“We kept it very simple right from the start,” MS Dhoni said when asked about the turn-around in India’s fortunes. “We knew it would be slightly tough for us to turn it on, the reason being we'll be here for four or four and a half months. We wanted to test our bench and give players more opportunities in the tri‑Series to some extent.

“There were quite a few players who were injured, also. We kept the intensity a bit low during the tri-series. Still, we wanted to win. We pushed for the wins, but we were not able to get that. But at the same time we knew with the World Cup right at the corner, this tournament was much more important to us, and we had to make sure people don't come into the World Cup with niggles,” he explained.

Ravindra Jadeja, with a shoulder impingement, played only the last two games in the tri-series while Rohit Sharma, hamstring strain, wasn’t picked after the first game in Melbourne.

“Any individual who had a bit of niggle, we kept him out of the 11 because we didn't want to push that particular individual. Also we had put in a lot of effort and time in these 15 to 17 players, so this was the right time.

“They have played ODI cricket for the last couple of years, many of them, so when you are putting in so much effort, you have to make sure these individuals who are playing for the last couple of years, they turn up for the World Cup because you are giving them minimum of 40 to 50 games. To some extent you can say they are the experienced ones. I feel like we kept it simple and that really helped,” he offered.

The 10-day break, Dhoni felt, after the tri-series helped the team reenergise and regain its focus. After returning from the break, the Indian team has carefully managed its work schedules by training only on alternative days.

“The 10‑day break also helped us to a lot of extent, and once we turned back we made sure that we used the practice in the best possible manner,” Dhoni pointed out.

“We requested for a few centre-wicket practices and that was provided to us. We gained a lot out of it. We had a few long practice sessions, but we made sure that in between we have a complete day off, also."

Dhoni also credited the support staff for maintaining a healthy and happy dressing room despite a series of defeats. "A lot of credit needs to be given to the support staff because to have the dressing room atmosphere despite the type of losses we have had is just something that is very difficult. And not to forget, we get criticised a lot when we are not doing well. You may ignore it to whatever extent, but it still plays a part (in your performance),” he offered.

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