Chennai:Rahul Dravid may be going through a difficult phase with the bat but the middle-order batsman still has the support of captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who feels the former skipper will break free from the prolonged bad patch in the Test series against England.
"As of now, he has been shaping up well and he had time to go home in between. Talent wise we all know Dravid's capabilities and he needs to focus now. He is one of the most committed cricketers you see around and definitely he will get into good scores in this series and make a headway," Dhoni said.
Enquired if the senior batsman would be asked to bat lower in the order, Dhoni said, "You will get to know during the game. I do not really disclose the plans." According to him, winning the two-match series against England was important as the team wanted to end a successful year on a winning note.
"It is important for us to win the series and end the year on a successful note. This is one of the years in which we have done well in every format of the game. Definitely we are looking forward to a good result in this series," he said.
Dhoni sought the same intensity from his teammates which they showed against Australia and said they needed to play their aggressive brand of cricket.
"Of course, we need to be at the same level. It does not matter which opposition you are playing. In international cricket you have to be aggressive and be controlled at the same time.
"The focus is on execution of our plans to our potential. Then, we will have the chances of doing well. Of course, the intensity will be well up," he said.
Asked about the England attack, Dhoni refused to underestimate the visitors but insisted he was thinking more about India's strength and weaknesses. "They are a better bowling side. But we are in good nick and we have the basics right. Preparation and plans that we got and our execution have been really good.
"We focus on that rather than thinking about oppositions bowling attack. It is important to set some plans to tackle the bowlers. We do not have any injury worries and will announce our eleven tomorrow," he said.
Dhoni has pledged match fees for the victims of the Mumbai terror attacks. Asked about the donation, Dhoni said, "I do not believe in speaking too much. Actions speak louder than words. Whatever we need to do we will do as a team or individual." Following the terror attacks, a heavy blanket of security has been thrown around the series but Dhoni doesn't see it as a distraction.
"We do not have any control over it. What are in our hands is to be calm and composed and look into the areas of playing cricket. What we are planning to do in the series is important for us. They are around to help us. It does not really bother us too much," he said.
On team composition for the match, Dhoni said, "We have not decided about it. Predictions apart, Chennai wicket always provide some bounce for the fast bowlers. As the match progresses, spinners also get some assistance. In fact when it turns it also bounces a bit for spinners." Dhoni also took the opportunity to thank England for defying terror and going ahead with the series.
"It is good on their part to come. Just as an Indian, I'm grateful to them for coming. "We have a important series to play. The best thing that I could give to India at this juncture is a good game of cricket. That is what we are here to do as professional cricketers," he said.
Asked if he expected England to return for the tour, Dhoni said, "We were not really thinking about cricket at that point of time. When it happened we were so sad. We were glued to the television. In that 70 hours or so, I really slept for just six hours.
"We were not thinking about cricket but thinking about what a ghastly thing was happening over there. I cannot really say much because I was not really thinking about cricket then. It is really tough. The one thing that we did was not to play the one dayers. The sentiments were quite low. We did a good job not to play the one day series."