August 17, 2011

MS Dhoni insists his beaten India team must steer clear of the “panic button”, on a tour which has appeared to simply go from bad to worse for them this summer.

The world’s former number one team were knocked resoundingly off that perch when England inflicted an innings defeat on them at Edgbaston last weekend to win the npower Test series 3-0.

But on the eve of the final match at The Oval, Dhoni is determined to remain positive and avoid desperate measures.

Asked whether this summer has been a “wake-up” call about the future of an ageing, formerly brilliant team, he opted for a pun – and plenty of humility – in his answer.

“We are not really sleeping, so we don’t need a wake-up call,” he said.

Little has gone right from the outset, with a spate of injuries disrupting India throughout.

But Dhoni is refusing to cite either circumstance or misfortune as an excuse.

“I am not playing a blame game.

“What’s important is to realize where we failed as a team – and not to forget we have not put many runs on board, which I felt is very important to give the bowlers the liberty of trying things out.

“We will take everything with an open heart.

“As I have always said, there are a few things in cricket that are beyond control.

“I think injuries are a big part – tosses again you can’t really have any control.

“It’s not about feeling let down. We tried our best with whatever we had.”

India’s fall from grace is sorely felt by their hundreds of millions of supporters.

It is a situation Dhoni and others have had to grow used to, and there will be no knee-jerk reactions. “The expectation levels are too high,” he said.

“We have been doing well for the past two-and-a-half years. I think it’s an added responsibility.

“At the same time what’s important is not to panic.

“Often sides push the panic button too soon. What’s important is to accept we were outplayed in the series, whatever the reasons may be, but still look into the bright future we have.”

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Dhoni takes issue with suggestions India, for whom key seamer Praveen Kumar is expected to be fit tomorrow despite having bruised his thumb while batting in Birmingham, have prepared poorly.

He appears to accept his team are not England’s equals in the field, and is phlegmatic about their current all-round struggles.

“We have a few limitations when it comes to fielding.

“But overall when it comes to preparation, we gave it the same shot as the English side.

“If you only achieve success then it becomes quite easy for you in life.

“It’s the failures in life and the challenges in life that make life interesting.”

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Courtesy: ESPN STAR
Source: Dhoni urges team not to panic

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