Champions Trophy 2013 May 30, 2013

IPL not compromising India's success - Dhoni


MS Dhoni has insisted the IPL is not compromising the success of the India team. While the Twenty20 league has brought huge financial benefits to Indian cricket, the on-field benefits are less obvious. But while Dhoni accepted that India's record in international series following previous IPL seasons was modest, he felt the positives of the league far out-weighed the negatives.

With the IPL having only finished on May 26, India's arrival in England was delayed until May 29. While several other sides have enjoyed greater preparation time in English conditions - Pakistan have played Ireland and South Africa are playing Netherlands - India have time for only two warm-up games and have experienced only T20 cricket in very different conditions since their last ODI in January. And with the English summer living down to its reputation - India's hopes of outdoor training were hindered by rain on Thursday - it could well prove that India go into their first Champions Trophy match against South Arica in Cardiff on June 6 with little meaningful preparation.

"What you have got right is the stats," Dhoni said. "They say that, after the IPL we have not done really well. So you have the stats to back you up on that.

"But I don't think it's for the IPL to be blamed if you say we have not done well after IPL. Let's see how it goes. We have a few days before we get out and going in the business end of the tournament. Two practice games should be good enough. If not, then we'll have to play a little 15 game tournament before the start of the tournament.

"It's always good to come to England and play some cricket. We landed yesterday evening but the weather has not been really nice, so we are hoping it will turn out to be bright and sunny soon and we can go onto the field and start with some practice. I don't think we'll get good practice today, but from tomorrow maybe, yes.

"It looks good as of now. Nobody has got any niggles when it comes to the fitness aspect. It's very important that the full squad remains fit throughout the span of the period so that you're not forced to select your second 11 or third 11; it's always good to feature the best 11 in each and every game."

Apart from the opportunity of testing themselves against some of the finest players in world cricket, Dhoni also said that participating in the IPL had allowed his players to get into "good rhythm."

"You have to look at the positives," he said. "The players that are playing the IPL, they had good exposure to international bowlers because bowlers from all over the world, they come and play in the IPL, right from Dale Steyn to the best that the world has to offer, which means most of the players are in touch. They are in good rhythm.

"Also, this year was not really hectic. We have to travel, but we all know in India the hospitality business is really good so from the hotels to the airline business, I don't think that really pushes us on the back foot."

Dhoni said Ravindra Jadeja and Bhuvneshwar Kumar might be key men for India in the Champions Trophy, suggesting that Jadeja's all-round skills would provide balance for the side and that Bhuvneshwar's swing bowling, with two new balls and in English conditions, could be a potent weapon.

"Of course with the new rules we'll be forced to play with five bowlers and Jadeja has done really well for us, giving us that balance that's really needed," Dhoni said. "We are hoping that he does well because it will be a great he'll be a great asset to the side with his stamina, with his bowling and a bit of batting down the order. I think he'll be someone who will really help us get the balance that's really needed in an ODI squad, and there are a few others. If it doesn't work there are a few others that can still do the job, and we have options in the side.

"Bhuvneshwar Kumar is someone who can swing the ball. Even in subcontinental conditions he is someone who can swing the ball both ways and he bowls in really good areas. It will be a good outing for him. He's someone who's really young, so he has plenty of cricket ahead of him. He just needs to enjoy the challenges that come in front of him. We all know he's someone who will do well, but we just have to see how he bowls from the 5th to the 8th because now, with the two new balls, he is definitely someone who will have an impact on the game."

George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • V.L on June 1, 2013, 19:13 GMT

    Deja Vu for SL. They set what they think is a formidable total and Kohli toys with their bowling to chase it down with relative ease towards the end, despite of the initial stutters. Too bad Malinga did not play. I am sure Kohli would have loved to face him! To be honest the only teams with realistic chances of making the semis are Aus, NZ, SA, Ind/Pak. Eng, WI and SL will pack their bags by the end of the league stage!

  • V.L on June 1, 2013, 18:04 GMT

    @Perera32 I am not talking about what you did vs Aus in CB series. In India vs SL matches in CB series we have beaten you 2-1 the most memorable one being Kohli and Raina making a mockery of the world's greatest bowler(According to SLankan perception)7.4-0-98-0 if I remember correctly. In short last 10 games India8 SL 2(WC final 2011, 2-1 in CB, 4-1 in SL, and 1-0 in Asia Cup)

  • Dummy4 on June 1, 2013, 13:59 GMT

    It is obvious, India is playing under a "mental cloud". They should not let the happenings outside the field affect thier game. But with FOUR players from CSK, and CSK under a cloud, and the players being human beings, they have my sympathies. But professional should be beyond all those external irritants and/or distractions.

  • Praveen on June 1, 2013, 13:46 GMT

    Is the Indian team getting ready for another ambush !!!! LOL !!!! Selecting Ishant Sharma instead of Praveen!!!

    Hilarious to see the super bowler Amit Mishra's balls heading like an arrow straight onto the batsmen's bat and asking "Hit me darling" ...

    India is about to concede 300+ in all of their games....

  • James on June 1, 2013, 13:46 GMT

    @er.tussharr. Please dont say India is a much better than other nations in Cricket, India can only play in flat Indian tracks and are hopeless overseas. The reason IND is no. 1 in ODI is because they played so many games at home, (ENG, PAK, AUS) Even in India, India is hopeless, getting beaten by England.. We will see how good India is when they compete in this Trophy and when they head off to SA *lol*

  • Vihanga on June 1, 2013, 13:33 GMT

    Semi finals looking far for India ... :D Kushal will be the most impact player of the tournament..

  • Suss on June 1, 2013, 13:32 GMT

    @ maddy20: Are you kidding me?, I remember the CB series very well. India got knocked out by SL, remember? In non subcontinental conditions, Sri lanka are always better than India. The pitch at edgbaston is not as flat as shown by the Indian fast bowlers, the new ball swings off the seam in any conditions, but they didn't get any swing. This is only a warm up and I don't really take all these contributions greatlyfrom the SL batsmen because teams like SA, NZ and Aus have better seam bowlers.

  • Vihanga on June 1, 2013, 13:29 GMT

    Kusal Perera = Sanath Jayasuriya... Some bad memories for the world champions.. lol.. Dilly and kushal had enuf and they left the field.. All of our out of form batsman are back in form. Thanks very much mediocre indian bowling unit...(Didnt swing a single delivery in "ENGLISH" conditions)

  • Dummy4 on June 1, 2013, 13:25 GMT

    IPL not hurting India's results he said , :') ! LOL ! India favorites for Champions Trophy and this happens on a warm up match, take that ! After the recent controversies of IPL , its obvious players are not into the match or the tournament ! oh well , crossing out India from champions trophy final ! :)

  • ttn on June 1, 2013, 13:21 GMT

    This is a warmup match what happens here is irrelevant, Anyway good to see everybody score runs at a good rate.