Champions Trophy: Dhoni wary of Gayle factor
The day-to-day happenings in the Board of Control for Cricket in India since the IPL spot-fixing scandal broke aren't bothering the Indian team. At least that's what captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni feels.
"As players, we can only control the things we are able to," Dhoni told mediapersons ahead of India's second ICC Champions Trophy league encounter against the West Indies at the Oval on Tuesday.
"We don't get to read newspapers and there are no channels. So we are not disturbed here. We can focus on cricket and do our own team exercises," he said.
For the first time in four days, the Indians trained outdoors. It was an overcast and nippy morning in London on Monday as the team practised on three side wickets, very close to the main square.
Dhoni said that the overcast conditions are tempting enough to play four seamers, but "we will not go that way because the result can go against us and then I will be blamed".
Image: Mahendra Singh Dhoni
Photographs: Getty Images
'The wicket will assist fast bowlers'
The skipper reckoned that the Oval wicket will assist spin and off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin will have a role to play for sure. Between Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja and Suresh Raina, the spinners bowled 21 overs among themselves in the first match against South Africa in Cardiff. India won by 26 runs, with pacer Umesh Yadav taking four for 75.
"This Oval wicket is a used one. There is a bit of grass and there will be a bit of bounce too. The fast bowlers will get some assist but since this is an old wicket, there will be spin as well," Dhoni said.
He indicated that Yadav will play a key role in Tuesday's game.
"But he has to think better and learn a lot. With exposure he will get better and that's what international cricket is all about," the skipper said.
Image: Umesh Yadav
Photographs: Cameron Spencer/Getty Images
'We have to get Gayle early'
He singled out Chris Gayle as the danger man in the West Indian camp.
"We have to take him out before he takes us out. The Gayle factor will always be there. He is a dangerous individual and we will have to get him early," he said.
Stating that the match against the West Indies will be "interesting", he said the team that adapts best to the conditions will prevail.
"You need some basic planning, but you need to adapt along the way," he added.
Image: Chris Gayle
Photographs: Richard Heathcote/Getty Images