Even though the result would only be of academic interest,Indian captain M S Dhoni today termed the face-off with arch-rivals Pakistan in the ICC Champions Trophy an ‘important’ game but said that his team would not take any added pressure.
“I think it’s an important match. To have a look at it is very important. Doesn’t matter which side you are really playing,because the reason is all international sides are good enough,so no real point taking any added pressure,” Dhoni said on the eve of the match.
“So,anything you can avoid as a team,especially the fact we’re talking about pressure,we should look to do that,” he added.
While admitting all India-Pakistan matches were big games,Dhoni said it would be suicidal to take extra pressure.
When reminded that Pakistan were treating the match “as a final”,Dhoni replied: “Well,there are two ways to look at it. If their thinking is that they have nothing really to lose,let’s go out,be expressive on the field,don’t bother about the result,then they can be dangerous.
“But if the thinking is that they have not qualified,this is a game against India,let’s win this game so we have it as a consolation prize,then they’ll be in big trouble. So it depends entirely on what Pakistan are thinking.”
“All international sides are good and packed with good fast bowlers. Pakistan also have good spinners in (Saeed) Ajmal and (Mohammed) Hafeez. We will not change our approach,” he said.
Dhoni also showed off India’s batting muscle ahead of the eagerly-awaited match,saying they “don’t need 100-plus opening stands” every time.
“We don’t need 100-plus opening stands every time we go out to bat,” he said.
“Well,I think we are a side that relies quite a bit on a good start. It doesn’t really mean that we always need a hundred and partnership. We need some time,the openers need to spend some time in the middle,and that really comes from the dressing room.
“That has been the case whenever we have got off to a good start; more often than not we have been able to capitalise on that fact,” he added.
The Indian captain said there was “no special strategy” against Pakistan although the match is inconsequential from a tournament perspective. India were the first team to enter the semifinals while Pakistan are out of the tournament after two defeats.
With rain clouds hovering over Edgbaston,the Indians were forced to train indoors at the Edgbaston Cricket Centre today afternoon. The toss could be a factor in tomorrow’s clash,feels Dhoni.
“Once you get closer to the game,the forecasts,they are a bit more realistic. So we’ll see how it goes. What also needs to be seen is whether it will be so much rain affected that the team that bats second may end up only batting 20 or 25 overs,and then the team who has batted first has a bit of a disadvantage,” explained the Indian skipper.