Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni distanced himself from the 'Cold War' that the Board of Control for Cricket in India and the Cricket South Africa fought over the scheduling of the bilateral series. (Read: Mahendra Singh Dhoni hints he will miss Gautam Gambhir in South Africa)
Speaking to the media on arrival in Johannesburg on Monday, Dhoni said the apparent acrimony between the Board officials will have no effect on the relationship of the players. (Read: India like a runaway train, won't be intimidated by bouncers, says Dale Steyn)
Promising that the three-ODI, two-Test series will be played in the right spirit, of course with a little bit of banter, Dhoni said tongue-in-cheek: "I think we can arrange a match for the administrators and let them go at each other."
BCCI had objected to the original schedule of two T20Is, three Tests and seven ODIs saying, that the itinerary was not mutually agreed upon. The Indian board chopped down the series from almost two months to just 30 days. Effectively meaning the New Year's Test traditionally played at Cape Town, had to be sacrificed. (Read: Virat Kohli can step into Sachin Tendulkar's shoes, says Allan Donald)
Dhoni chose to dodge the question on a shortened tour.
"I don't pay that much attention to how many games we are playing because we have quite a busy schedule. As of now what is really in our hands is two Test matches and three ODIs, and to make the most of it and then move on to the next series," he said. (Read: We will fight fire with fire in South Africa, says MS Dhoni)
Dhoni said the gentle war of words between the two teams is only going to make the series exciting.
"The relationship between the Indian and South African players has been really good. Though we see a bit of chirping going around which makes cricket very interesting, so far we have not seen a case between these sides where they have gone too far or crossed the line. So that's a good sign, and I think we'll have a good series," he said.
The 32-year-old welcomed the prospect of playing on pace-friendly tracks, saying it offers something for both bowlers as well as batsmen.
"Over here you will see some good exciting cricket," said Dhoni. "They provide wickets where there is something on offer for the fast bowlers, but at the same time if you are a batsman and you like the ball coming on to the bat, this is the place to play. Joburg especially has shown that it can be a high-scoring venue. It will give a fair amount of challenge to both teams," he said.