Team India would not focus on individual Lankan players: Dhoni

Cardiff (United Kingdom), June 19 (ANI): Indian skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni on Wednesday said Sri Lanka is a dangerous side, and hence his team would not focus on individual players.

"They are a dangerous side, hence we cannot focus on individual players. If you look at their top six or seven, they are good. But yes, the duo has done really well and will always pose a threat," he said, when asked whether Kumar Sangakara and Mahela Jayawardena would pose a threat to the men in blue.

Dhoni, who was addressing the media here, ahead of tomorrow's semi-final clash against Sri Lanka, also rubbished speculations that his side was not a favourite for the title as compared to Sri Lanka.

"First, I really don't know who has been saying this that there are no expectations from the Indian team. The media spurred this entire debate. We are here to play some good cricket, and we are working hard for that, because that is the only thing in our control," said Dhoni.

"Even if both the teams look somewhat similar, even then it is different, as the rules have changed. Hence, it would be immature to count on the stats. Sri-Lanka is a good team and they are going through a phase like us, where they are missing a few key players," he said.

Dhoni also made it clear that there was no surprise for tomorrow's game.

"If something that we have is surprising, we would be surprised ourselves more than the opposition. The change of rule hasn't shown its full colour. So, it's dicey," said Dhoni.

"But yes, if a team gets off to a good start and has wickets in hand then they can capitalize it in the last 15 overs. Most of the bowlers find it difficult with field restrictions, and some adjust better than the others," he added.

Dhoni also lauded Indian coach Duncan Fletcher, saying the latter is someone who knows the basics really well.

"When Duncan took charge it was a team, which had some of its big players, who were on the verge of leaving. So, it was tough. He would have felt the pressure. Now, I am sure he is loving the fact that the team is doing really well," he said.

India has defeated South Africa, West Indies and Pakistan in the tournament.

Sri Lanka, who finished second in Group-A, will face the reigning World Champions and Group-B toppers, India, in the second semi-final match in Cardiff tomorrow.

The Champions Trophy is the second biggest one-day tournament, played between all the Test playing nations.

Two groups with four teams each participate in a round-robin format in the first round with the top two teams from each group qualifying for the semi-final.

India is placed in group B, along with South Africa, arch-rival Pakistan and the West Indies.

Group A, on the other hand, consists of Australia with England, Sri Lanka and New Zealand.

The final is slated to be played on June 23. By Praful Kumar Singh (ANI)

Matches

MORE TOP STORIES TODAY

On Now: Chennai Super Kings vs Delhi Daredevils

On Now: Chennai Super Kings vs Delhi Daredevils

IPL7, MATCH 8—Raina-led middle-order lifts Chennai to 177-7. More »

Bowling worries for Super Kings

Bowling worries for Super Kings

After failing to defend a mammoth 205 against Kings XI Punjab, Chennai have a lot to think about. More »

Punjab pull off another big chase

Punjab pull off another big chase

GAME 7, SHARJAH—Maxwell, Miller, Pujara chase down Rajasthan's 192. More »

T20 test for Cheteshwar Pujara

T20 test for Cheteshwar Pujara

The class act from Saurashtra may have to rethink his approach to the mannerless format. More »

BCCI reputation lowest in 80 years: Manohar

BCCI reputation lowest in 80 years: Manohar

The former BCCI president says he was "disillusioned" by the happenings at the emergent working committee meeting on Sunday. More »

Special meeting to replace Srinivasan

Special meeting to replace Srinivasan

The BCCI is likely to convene a special general body meeting (SGM) in May to replace N Srinivasan on the board's disciplinary committee. More »

Shastri in proposed IPL probe panel

Shastri in proposed IPL probe panel

Some members stressed on the need for proposing names with an "impeccable record and clean image". More »

Roach escapes injury after car crash

Roach escapes injury after car crash

The West Indies fast bowler lost control of his BMW sedan due to slippery road conditions in his native Barbados on Saturday. More »

Panel can help clean mess: Raghavan

Panel can help clean mess: Raghavan

The former CBI Director is one of the three candidates proposed by the BCCI to head the enquiry into the IPL betting and spot-fixing scandal. More »

Cook relieved after period in limbo

Cook relieved after period in limbo

The England captain is looking forward to a fresh start after a dispiriting Ashes defeat last year. More »

[INTERVIEW] Jayawardene and Sangakkara

[INTERVIEW] Jayawardene and Sangakkara

Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara go over their World T20 win, and feel grateful to have fans whose support remains unwavering in victory and de… More »

Repose faith in Indian coaches

Repose faith in Indian coaches

All of them cost plenty of dollars which I feel is unnecessary for a two- month tournament, says former cricketer Yajurvindra Singh. More »

Need to improve fielding: Ashwin

Need to improve fielding: Ashwin

[T20 Newsline] Lacklustre Super Kings, fast-improving Sanju Samson and other news from IPL-7. More »

Aussie coach joins emerging Afghanistan

Aussie coach joins emerging Afghanistan

Peter Anderson has started work in Kabul as the fast-developing team prepare for their debut at next year's World Cup. More »

Chaos threatens to engulf SL again

Chaos threatens to engulf SL again

As Lanka's head coach decides to jump ship, euphoria over winning an ICC tournament has dissipated into fuistration. More »

Jayasuriya unhappy at Farbrace conduct

Jayasuriya unhappy at Farbrace conduct

Sri Lanka's chief selector is upset at news of head coach Paul Farbrace's possible move to England. More »

Have nothing to prove to anybody — Sehwag

Have nothing to prove to anybody — Sehwag

The Nawab of Najafgarh says a good run in IPL could help his chances of a comeback on India's tour to England in June. More »

Duminy steals first win for Delhi

Duminy steals first win for Delhi

Furious fifties by Duminy and Dinesh Karthik end a long losing streak for the Daredevils. More »

Five things England must do to bounce back

Five things England must do to bounce back

England have appointed a new head coach in Peter Moores. More »

AB, Parthiv seal Bangalore's second win

AB, Parthiv seal Bangalore's second win

Royal Challengers overcame a stutter to cruise to the small target they were set by Mumbai Indians. More »

‘Felt like helpless minority’

‘Felt like helpless minority’

Former BCCI treasurer Ajay Shirke says emotions got the better of Srinivasan and he tried to oversimplify things by calling Meiyappan an “enthusiast.” More »

Royal test for Kings

Royal test for Kings

Preview — Clash of philosophies between Australia-centric teams More »

No way back for Pietersen: ECB

No way back for Pietersen: ECB

Kevin Pietersen's hopes of reviving his international career appeared to end Saturday when ECB managing director Paul Downton said there was 'no way back'… More »

The world record that nearly wasn't

The world record that nearly wasn't

Twenty years ago this week, Brian Lara became Test cricket's highest scorer, but he almost didn't make it. More »