ICC Champions Trophy is history, says Mahendra Singh Dhoni

Ahead of trination series in Caribbean, Indian captain says the expectations from fans are always moving up

Updated: June 28, 2013 14:42 IST
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Kingston: India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni says the expectation of the team's fans means there will be no post-Champions Trophy hangover when the team contests a triangular one-day series against the West Indies and Sri Lanka in the Caribbean. (Also read: Dhoni enjoys the Kingston sunshine after dull English weather)

There has been no let-up for India after winning the trophy in rainy England, moving directly to the tropical heat for two weeks to contest the Celkon Mobile Cup.

"The demands remain the same. The expectation when it comes to the Indian cricket team has always been the same," Dhoni said at Thursday's series launch.

"If it's moving, it only moves in one direction - it goes up. It doesn't matter whether we have won the last series or lost or what has happened on the field."

Dhoni's side, No. 1 on the ICC rankings, now hold both main one-day titles following their triumph in the World Cup on home soil two years ago.

"I'm fortunate to have the players in the side to really soak up the pressure," Dhoni said. (Team India presence spices up tri-series in West Indies)

"What we have done really well is we have enjoyed each others' success and that has really contributed to the side winning most of the games," the wicket-keeper batsman added. "If I'm happier than the person who has actually scored a century or a fifty, you understand that's the kind of atmosphere that you want, because at the end of the day, what we play is a team sport."

Dhoni said the fierce contest for places in the Indian team has not been permitted to spill over into personal rivalries. (Numbers favour Team India)

"It's important that the guys sitting out just to wait for their chance, not think that if this guy does badly I will get a chance. They can use that period to improve themselves and whenever the chance, whatever the reason may be, fitness or form, they try to earn that place in the side."

"We have been able to create that kind of atmosphere and it's really reflected in the performances that we have given."

Each team in the triangular tournament plays each other twice before the final on July 11 in Trinidad. But India must wait until Sunday for their first game, with the West Indies meeting Sri Lanka in the opener Friday at Sabina Park.

Home skipper Dwayne Bravo acknowledged the series doesn't hold the same significance of the recently concluded Champions Trophy but recognizes there is much at stake.

"It's always good to play here in Jamaica. We have a very good record and that will be in the back of our minds," Bravo said. (Dwayne Bravo looks for fresh start in tri-series)

"But if we don't prepare well and execute our plans, it won't count for anything. As much as we are happy playing at home, we still have to do the basics right in order to be successful."

Sri Lanka skipper Angelo Mathews acknowledged his side would start as underdogs despite being ranked three places higher than the hosts in fifth.

"They are the two current reigning champions of the T20 and the one-dayers. So to match them we need to play some really good cricket. We feel like we're the underdogs but I feel I've got the team to do well in this format and I'm pretty confident in my team."

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