No differences with Sehwag, no rift in the team: Dhoni

India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni on Saturday asserted that there was neither any dissension nor any communication gap in the dressing room but conceded that such reports at times create a brief awkwardness among the players.

Updated: February 25, 2012 12:10 IST
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Sydney: India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni on Saturday asserted that there was neither any dissension nor any communication gap in the dressing room but conceded that such reports at times create a brief awkwardness among the players.

"If you listen to the press conference on tape, you would get the answer yourself as to what actually I said and what I meant," said Dhoni on the eve of the India-Australia tri-series match.

"You can't particularly see the same question, it might be a build up to the first question and often what we don't answer, because of the first part of the question we answer, it actually is the answer to the second or third question," added Dhoni in his typical long-winding manner.

Dhoni, while denying reports of a rift between Sehwag and him and asserting that the dressing room atmosphere was perfect, admitted it still caused uneasiness between the players.

"You feel a little awkward initially. You may sometimes think the person is actually believing (what's been reported). And the second person thinks may be he said it. But once you go through the talks, it gets back to as it was.

"It doesn't even by 10 per cent affect our performance or has any effect in the dressing room," insisted the captain.

The 30-year-old Dhoni defended Sehwag's assertion that he didn't need to clarify with his skipper on the comments that the seniors were slow in the field.

"He's right, why should he have a chat? If there's nothing why we need to have a chat. When we don't have a problem, why we need to solve it? There's nothing negative in it. He is a senior player. We don't need to clarify. We all have belief in each other as to what was said and what happened. It's not the first time it has happened.

"The best thing is to get the most out of it. And what's the most important is to have fun," said Dhoni.

Dhoni said the atmosphere has always been very good in the dressing room.

"It's always been there. It's not this series or the previous one. It's been perfect. It's talk of the dressing room, we try and take positive out of it."

During the 2009 Champions Trophy in England, Dhoni, in a bid to quash speculations of dissension in the team, had paraded all 15 players in front of the media. But he did not see a reason to do the same in the present situation.

"(I haven't done it) because it was not projected in a nice way. There were 15 players and if A is fighting B, both are now standing on the table (in front of media), both of us could be asked why it's so.

"It was not projected in the right way so (I said) maybe leave it. What's the point in fuelling something which is not there," said Dhoni.

On Sunday's match against Australia, Dhoni dropped a hint the rotation policy would be dispensed at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG).

"We are not looking to rotate. It's injuries which are now rotating the players. It's not in our control. I had said we would rotate in the first half of the tournament because then you could rotate, it didn't put pressure on us because we were in early part of the tournament.

"But now it's do-or-die match. The best eleven players should play unless and until injury is an issue," said Dhoni.

Earlier, the BCCI had asked Secretary Sanjay Jagdale to do a clean-up act by speaking to Dhoni and Sehwag over the rift and accordingly they had been asked to patch up.

The Board had asked the captain, the vice-captain and the other team members to be on the same page with respect to selection.

Right before on Wednesday, the Indian Cricket Board had denied reports of the rift. BCCI President N Srinivasan called media reports "exaggerated".

He said that he had checked with the media manager and the Board had nothing to be concerned about.

"You have no knowledge of it. I don't think there is any rift in the team. There is nothing to be concerned about," Srinivasan had told the reporters after a meeting of the IPL Governing Council.

"They were responding to such questions in a press conference. It happens after every match. I have spoken to media manager there. I think the reports are exaggerated," he said.

BCCI Vice President Rajiv Shukla had also refuted reports of the rift in the team.

"Sehwag has been misquoted. That's what we came to understand. There is no rift in the team. It is only a speculation by a section of media. I don't think there is any problem. BCCI is in constant touch with the team," Shukla said.

The Indian camp has been jostling with speculations of a rift in the team since Dhoni said top-order batsmen - Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir - were being rotated and not played together in the ongoing series as they were 'slow fielders' who could cost the team 20 runs.

However, Sehwag, who was the stand-in-captain for Tuesday's game against Sri Lanka due to regular skipper MS Dhoni serving a one match ban for slow over-rate, had said that neither he nor any of the senior players had been told that their fielding was an issue.

"I did not know what he (Dhoni) said and what's going on in media. He told us he wanted to give chance to youngsters who had come here and play the next World Cup. That's what he told us," said Sehwag.

The opener, who took a brilliant catch in the same game against Sri Lanka, had also retorted that their fielding had been the same since a decade.

"Have you seen my catch?" Sehwag had snapped back, adding "we have been fielding the same way for the last 10 years."

(With inputs from PTI)

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