Indian skipper MS Dhoni told reporters in Mumbai on Tuesday that preparations for the Champions Trophy were on track and the tournament will be a great opportunity for youngsters to shine. (Read: main points from Dhoni's press conference)
Under instructions from the BCCI, Dhoni refused to answer questions on the Indian Premier League spotfixing scandal. He just smiled when he was asked to comment on the issue and reveal his links with Vindoo Dara Singh.
"It's a good sign that our medical staff has not yet given any report of unfitness of any players," Dhoni said in a press conference ahead of the team's departure for the 2013 Champions Trophy in the United Kingdom. (Also read: Top-five Indian players to watch out for in England)
"This will be our first series outside the subcontinent under the new ICC ODI rules. We are looking forward to the preparation with two warm up games (against Sri Lanka and Australia)," he added.
"Much will depend on individuals and weather conditions there. I feel it is an ideal opportunity for us to lift the title," he further said. (Related read: Misbah wants 'just win when Pakistan play India)
"When it comes to the fast bowling department, there are people who can exploit the conditions. Someone like Bhuvneshwar (Kumar) can swing the ball, there is Umesh (Yadav) who has pace. It's a good department," he said.
India are clubbed with Pakistan, South Africa and the West Indies in group B, but it is the match against the arch-rival on June 15 that is most eagerly awaited.
"Both sides are balanced, (Saeed) Ajmal is a mystery bowler, we need to figure him out," Dhoni said.
Dhoni also wants openers Murali Vijay and Shikhar Dhawan to utilise the opportunity.
"Murali Vijay and Shikhar Dhawan have done well in Tests, ODIs is different but as (coach) Duncan (Fletcher) said, it's a good opportunity for them to capitalise," he said.
The last edition of the Champions Trophy will be held from June 6 to 23 with Dhoni and his men taking center-stage in the opener against South Africa. West Indies and Pakistan are the other two teams in India's Group B.
Prior to their opening game, India take on Sri Lanka in the first warm-up match on June 1 at Edgbaston, Birmingham and then Australia in the second practice game at Sophia Gardens, Cardiff on June 4.
India's best show in the previously biennial championship came in 2002, when they were joint winners with Sri Lanka after the finals were washed out in the Island Nation. In 2000, when the tournament was called ICC Knockout Trophy, India lost to New Zealand in the final. (Also read: History of India in Champions Trophy)
Story first published on: Tuesday, 28 May 2013 19:34 IST