Chennai:As India's experienced players drew flak for their lacklustre show in the just lost Test series against Sri Lanka, ODIs captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni on Tuesday came in their defence, saying they did not need to prove themselves.
Dhoni, who gave the Test series a miss but is returning to lead the team in the shorter version matches, disagreed that experienced players should be more accountable than other members of the team in the Tests.
"You cannot ask a Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly, VVS Laxman or Anil Kumble to prove their credentials," Dhoni said in an interview.
Indian middle order batsmen were specially underfire as they failed to put on enough runs on board in the entire Test series against Sri Lanka which India lost to 1-2.
Asked if he was ready to lead in the Tests as well, Dhoni said "I think you should ask the selectors and the BCCI this question. I am happy with whatever they have in mind."
The Khel Ratna awardee wicketkeeper-batsman, however, agreed that it was high time India improved to consistently win matches and reach the top of the world rankings.
"I think it is just with time we should start winning in ODIs consistently. We are a great team and we start doing well pretty soon.
"Australia as a team is still far ahead. Yes, we can beat Australia and we have proved that. But to do it consistently we have to improve a lot. I think once we become more consistent we can think of being number one," he said.
Dhoni said as far as One-day games were concerned not only bowlers but all department needed to improve.
"Everyone has to improve. We have got good bowlers in the side and they are doing their best," he said.
The Jharkhand player refused there was a need of separate sets of cricketers for Tests and the ODIs or T20 matches.
"Not at all. A player can be good in ODIs and Tests and Twenty20 as well. Look at Virender Sehwag or Gautam Gambhir."
Asked about his man-management skills, Dhoni said he just treated every member as his family.
"Well, I am a person who goes and thinks by my heart. I do whatever my heart tells me to do. I am not sure what man management is. The team is like my own family. I treat them the way a person will treat his own family.
"I think my team members were obviously there behind me. Other than that my family and friends are always behind me," he added.
Dhoni denied that he was robbed off his swashbuckling batting ways in a bid to adapting himself to bat on any slot according to situation.
"I will play the way the team requires me to play. And I will come onto bat whenever the team requires me to do so. It is not an experiment," he said.
Asked if he was still on the look out for an all-rounder to win matches, Dhoni said "there is Irfan Pathan who is doing quite well. I am sure players like Praveen Kumar, Piyush Chawla and others will come off age. Virender Sehwag is bowling really well."
Dhoni also said was satisfied with the bench strength India had.
"We have a good 11. And our bench strength is also not that bad. In fact, we have to leave out world class bowlers like RP Singh or Piyush Chawla from a team. Also batsmen like Robin Uthappa, Manoj Tiwary does not find a place in the eleven. This certainly shows that we have a good amount of support players."
Asked if friendly pitches were a vital factor and we should have similar wickets in all venues in India, he said "I feel we should play according to our strengths. Neither has Australia or England or South Africa changed their pitches for us. So I don't see any reason why should we change our pitches".
On plan for winning the 2011 World Cup at home, Dhoni said he would try team did not wilt under pressure of playing before the home crowd.
"We as a team try not wilt under pressure. World Cup is long time away. And I am sure if you see the combination can only be fixed some months before the World Cup. So as of now I am not thinking about the World Cup but thinking about getting the right combination so that we can win more consistently," he said.