We look to make a fresh start: Dhoni

Indian captain MS Dhoni on Saturday said his team is focussed on making a fresh start in the must-win sixth ODI against Australia on Sunday.

updated: November 07, 2009 10:06 IST
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The disappointment of the three-run loss in Hyderabad behind them, Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni on Saturday said his team is focussed on making a fresh start in the must-win sixth one-dayer against Australia here on Sunday.

"It was hurting and disappointing. But we have left everything in the dressing room. We have two more games to go and that's what count now. Whatever has happened has happened. You cannot change much about it. It's important to concentrate on what lies ahead and stay fresh mentally," Dhoni said at the pre-match press conference.

India trail the seven-match series 2-3 after the loss in Hyderabad. Asked about the team's strategy, Dhoni said the hosts would rely on a good batting effort and an improved fielding display.

"Strategy is to get off a good start and then capitalise on it and dictate terms on the opposition side. We have done well in patches. It's important to be consistent especially when it comes to fielding. So we are hoping to field well," he said.

On whether the middle-order's inconsistent form is a concern, Dhoni said though the performance has not been too good, he is not worried.

"We rely on a good start but every now and then your openers don't score and the pressure comes to the middle order. This is one of the series, where the middle order has not performed consistently," he said.

"It's not a worrying thing. But of course it's good if we get a good start so that the middle order and lower order capitalise on that," Dhoni added.

Reflecting on the defeat in Hyderabad, Dhoni said the team could have calculated a bit better and settled the issue.

"We had about five overs of Power-play left with four-five wickets in hand. More often, in such a case, the team batting second wins. I think we lost there. We are learning on that. Hopefully we will not repeat the same mistake again," he said.

Dhoni, however, refuted suggestions that the team would be under pressure on Sunday.

"Every game was a pressure game in the series and the remaining two games also. Our first priority is to be in the series, so we have to win the next game and not looking too far ahead," he said.

The captain cleared the air of doubt over Virender Sehwag missing the practice today, saying the dashing opener did not turn up as it was an optional session.

"Today was a lighter session. We wanted to give the guys some rest so we had a longish warm-up session. The lower order batted, there is no particular reason behind Harbhajan (Singh) or Ravindra Jadeja batting at the nets today," he explained.

On under-pressure Ravindra Jadeja, who has run himself out twice in the series so far, Dhoni said he would continue to back the all-rounder.

"He is doing well but when it comes to selection, we don't speak too much about it. But every individual, if he is doing well he deserves a chance to be in the side. Jadeja is bowling well, as series goes he will turn up more as a batsman," Dhoni said.

Dhoni said the senior players in the side are helping the new players cope with the pressure of competing in the high-voltage series.

"The senior players are constantly in touch with the youngsters especially the lower batsmen how they should be reacting to situation like this. It's not that in each and every game you get a situation like in Hyderabad," he said.

On the wicket, Dhoni said it looked like a typical sub-continental wicket and dew would be a huge factor.

"But with super sopers and other equipment I don't think there will be much dew on the field."

The early sunset in this part of the country means the day match might see Duckworth-Lewis system coming into play and Dhoni said the possibility was at the back of his mind.

"We are thinking about that. When the start is 8.30, more often than not the game will finish on time. The day light drops around 4.15 or so," he said.

Dhoni, however, sidestepped queries on whether the seven-match series was too long as has been stated by Australian skipper Ricky Ponting.

"We play throughout the year, whether a five-match, seven-match or a Test match. We don't have longer break. After this we have Sri Lanka series.

"I don't think it plays a factor. If you are playing throughout out year, it gets a bit difficult to maintain the same intensity. But you are supposed to perform being an international cricketer," he said.