Matured Dhoni to tone down his style during WC

Published: Tuesday, February 27, 2007, 23:53 [IST]
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Mumbai:Claiming himself to be a more mature player now, Team India stumper Mahendra Singh Dhoni says he has learnt to curb his attacking instincts to adjust to the demands of the side.

The wicketkeeper batsman, who has 62 sixes and 129 fours in 66 outings, said he is prepared to sacrifice the big shots during the World Cup, if the situation demands.

''I want to share the responsibility. I have realised that international cricket is not about playing for your fans, but playing for your team and according to the situation,'' he said.

Dhoni said he is now cautious for the first 10 to 12 balls before getting into his groove.

''Earlier, I believed cricket was just about big shots. But now I have realised it is about something. I now play according to the needs of the team and the situations,'' the Jharkand stumper told newspersons at a function where he was handed over a customised Scorpio jeep by Mahindra and Mahindra here last night.

Dhoni, who beat Australia captain Ricky Ponting to become Worlds No 2 batsman, was unable to describe his unusual flick shot, which has left the purists flummoxed. He attributed the origin of the shot to tennis ball cricket, which is an eight-over-a-side affair.

''I do not know how to describe the stroke technically. But having played a lot of tennis ball cricket, the shot comes naturally, I guess,'' he observed.

''All you need to do is try and get the maximum of each ball. I swung my bat at everything and thats how the shot was invented,'' recalled Dhoni.

Talking of the World Cup, the keeper said, ''It is a special tournament. However, we need to play it as any other tourney and not let the pressure get to us.'' He felt that last year's tour of West Indies last year would be of help, as they would have a fair idea of how the wickets behave.

''We have a strong batting line-up and a good bowling attack and are also improving in departments like fielding and running between the wickets. There is no reason why we can win the World Cup, if we play to our potential,'' he added.

Dhoni, who has won accolades for his batting, insisted he worked hard on his wicket-keeping too and has overcome most of his shortcomings.

''I have received a lot of help from Kiran More and I am satisfied that my keeping has improved and is continuing its upward spiral,'' he added.

Speaking about keeping control and playing according to the situation, the swashbuckling batsman, however, could not resist describing the longest six he had hit top the scribes.

''In a match at Bokaro (Jharkhand), the ball cleared the 40-45 yard ground, the staircase, the five-yard grass outside the ground and landed into the balcony of a three-storeyed building. It was amazing,'' Dhoni reminisced.


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