Moving on from a heartbreak is never an easy task. But holding on to it will only harm the future. Team India understands that, and so, instead of mourning the 1-3 loss in the Test series, they have shifted their focus on the ODI series against England, starting August 25 in Bristol.
On the eve of the first ODI, captain, MS Dhoni said the boys have taken the lessons from the Test series and are now prepared for the shorter format.
Dhoni said the change in format will help them refocus. “The change in format makes a huge difference. In Tests there is a pressure of survival on you and you get criticized when you get out playing an attacking shot. We now move to a format where after getting in, you have to play your shots and express yourself. With the new ODI rules, there is also a change in how the cricket is played in the ODIs,” the Indian captain said.
Talking about change, Dhoni also spoke about the new look that the team’s support staff bears. While sympathizing with Joe Dawes and Trevor Penney, who have been given a break for this series, Dhoni also stressed the need to welcome the new members, Bharat Arun (bowling coach), R Sridhar (fielding coach) and Sanjay Bangar (assistant coach).
“It is a bit tough on Trevor (Penney) and Joey (Dawes). It’s the fielders who drop the catches and the fielding coach has to miss the series,” Dhoni said. “At the same time we have to welcome the new guys in the family and give them enough time to get used to how things operate in the team and also encourage them to give their own inputs.”
Another new recruit in Team India is Ravi Shastri, who has joined the team as the Cricket Director. Dhoni said Shastri’s role is to observe and oversee the workings of the team and that coach, Duncan Fletcher is still the “boss” of the team.
“Ravi is here to overlook the operations and give his inputs from the outside. It is good to have him because he is a very proud Indian cricketer and a very positive person. He believes in putting up a fight and backing your instincts 100 per cent. He also speaks the same language (Hindi) as the boys and can interact well with them. It is the same with the other coaches who have joined in. So, it is good to have them.
“Duncan will lead us into the World Cup. Also, I don’t know how it seems from the outside but Duncan is still the boss. Yes, we have some new members in the support staff but the operations of the team remain the same,” Dhoni said.
With the 2015 World Cup in sight, Dhoni said the team has already started to plan for the defence of their World Champions title and that the main challenge for them will be to manage the fitness of their best players.
“We don’t have an easy schedule. We have to plan. The only problem is you don’t want to look too ahead because we have to see what kind of niggles any player has got. We don’t have many changes in the squads for Tests, ODIs and T20Is. We have to manage the resources well because we want to feature the best 15 in the World Cup.”