No additional pressure, says Dhoni ahead of must-win Pakistan game
The Indian captain says that on paper, the team has the potential to win their matches and make the semi-finals
MS Dhoni kept his options on India's team composition open for the clash against Pakistan.
India’s confidence would have taken a battering after Australia pounded it into submission in the Super Eights clash between the teams on Friday night. Ahead of Sunday’s must-win game against Pakistan at the ICC World Twenty20 2012, however, Mahendra Singh Dhoni said India couldn’t play any worse, and exhorted his team-mates to go out and enjoy themselves.
“If you just see the potential, the team has got the potential (to win the remaining two matches and enter the semifinal),” Dhoni said. “But we will have to implement it on the field. The performance needs to reflect on the field and that is very important. But what is also important is that we go out and express ourselves because we may not lose badly, you may not have a worse game than what really happened against Australia.
“Let’s go and express ourselves, let’s play some big shots and go in with a lot of confidence. Whatever the result may be, let’s not fear the result. You know it’s a very different format and you cannot do a lot of planning, you can’t say you will do this, do that. Just go out, you have the talent, you have to express yourself.”
Dhoni has consistently maintained that playing for India, no matter the opposition, involved high pressure, so it was no surprise to hear him say that there would not be any additional pressure playing Pakistan, that too in a match India could ill afford to lose. “We are always at the top of the pressure chain,” he said. “The most pressure has always been there on us because of the expectation levels. Back home, we are expected to win everything. I don’t think the pressure will go beyond that limit because it’s always been there, so it doesn’t really matter to us. What’s important is to enjoy the game and not to think about the result too much.”
Refusing to throw light on what his team composition would be, and whether Virender Sehwag would make a comeback, Dhoni said, “We will choose the XI based on the opposition we are playing and also based on what kind of wicket we are playing on. After the Australia game, we will also keep a watch on the rain.
“The wicket has slowed down a lot compared to the last few games we played here and the last series here (in late July). Even now, when the Australian spinners were bowling, it was gripping and it wasn’t really coming on to the bat, which meant that if you had a few variations, you could trouble the batsman. The big shots were not easy to play. Looking at the amount of break that the curator has to maintain the wicket, I think it will be on the slower side because they will use the same strip to play both matches on one day.”