The past doesn’t count, we’ll start afresh: Dhoni

Under him, India has hardly put a foot wrong but skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni refuses to bask in past glory and insists it will be a fresh start against New Zealand in the first cricket Twenty20 International on Wednesday.

World champion in this slam-bang format, Dhoni’s men have an edge over the hosts on paper but the Indian captain believes his teammates would have to start all over again.

“I believe every game is a new game,” Dhoni said on the eve of the tour opener, adding “You have to start from scratch.”

Dhoni put Wednesday’s match in perspective saying it would not set the tone for the remainder of the series.

“It is not like if you have won the first game it makes a huge difference for the entire tour. It is a 50-day tour and the team that will be victorious will be the one that plays good cricket for a consistent amount of time,” Dhoni said.

Dhoni’s team does not lack match-winners but the Indian captain said he wanted complete team effort where each and every player would chip in.

“Last year we did well as a team. The important thing is that we don’t rely on one or two individuals. We have been performing as a team. In most games, you see that a lot of people have been contributing. Part-timers have done the job well with the ball. We have improved as a fielding unit as well, and that helps, too.

“We have the kind of players who can really win games on their own, but we are always looking for the whole team to perform. In theses conditions the batsmen could get out to a good ball and this is when you want the whole team to be at a level where each and everyone is performing. Whatever limited opportunity one gets, if he performs it helps the confidence of the whole team,” said Dhoni.

Dhoni rated New Zealand as a competitive side and said, “They have a good bunch of players. They believe in contributing. They take pride in their fielding which is important in one-day cricket. They are a competitive side.”

Dhoni also reckoned that inputs from former India coach John Wright, now a Kiwi selector, would help the hosts.

“Being an international cricketer and a coach, he will know the shortcomings. John will know the psychology of each and every Indian player. That psychological part of the input given by John will help them,” Dhoni said.

Expectation would be high as Dhoni’s men go into the series but the Indian skipper seemed unperturbed by that.

“What we have done in the last few months is that we have diverted our attention from the expectations to the process and what we want to achieve. Expectation is set by others and can be too high to achieve. As individuals you know your potential and you know what you can do and accordingly you can fix it. This is what I want to do in this series,” he said.

Dhoni also spared a thought for the weather here and said, “The temperature has been up and down. The wind is pretty cold. A lot depends on the conditions tomorrow. If it is cloudy and there is a bit of rain, it will help the seamers. But if there is too much rain, the ball will become soggy and the batsmen will benefit. At the end of the day it will depend on how the weather pans out. But overall, it has been cold so far.”



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