Lack of runs doesn't bother Dhoni

Updated: 29 March 2011 14:51 IST

India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni insists his own form is not a concern heading into the World Cup semi-final against Pakistan on Wednesday.

Mohali:

India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni insists his own form is not a concern heading into the World Cup semi-final against Pakistan on Wednesday.

Dhoni, also India's wicketkeeper, has a well-deserved reputation as a hard-hitting middle-order batsman.

But his returns with the bat at this World Cup amount to just 125 runs from seven innings at 31.25 with a best of 34.

In India's quarter-final win over Australia the captain did have an opportunity to play a key innings but was out for seven.

It fell to left-handers Yuvraj Singh (57 not out) and Suresh Raina (34 not out) to see the home side to a five-wicket success in Ahmedabad.

"It's a cricketing aspect," said Dhoni, the face of numerous billboard and television World Cup advertising campaigns.

However, he insisted he was not being distracted by outside influences.

"I have been batting quite well, some of the situations have not been good for really playing flamboyant cricket. Like against Bangladesh, I could not get to bat. Also some shots went straight to fielders.

"What is important, especially in India is when you are batting at five, six or seven, if the top order scores well, it does not give much opportunity to the lower order.

"The last game (against Australia) was ideal where I could have got good runs, which were also needed then, but I could not get them."

The 29-year-old added he was proud to captain India, saying: "It's an honour to lead the side. If you take a pressure job, you will find yourself in a pressure cooker."

This match is being seen by some observers as a way to start an improvement in diplomatic relations between feuding nuclear powers India and Pakistan.

But Dhoni was adamant his team would just concentrate on the job at hand.

"It depends on what you mean by hype, media, sponsors, politicans - we are not getting involved.

"We are expected to play good cricket. The biggest, distinguished guests will be there to see the game, but they are here to enjoy cricket, so we have to be at our best."

India Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Pakistani counterpart Yousuf Raza Gilani are both set to be among a capacity crowd on Wednesday.

"That will be a distraction if looking forward to that, that's the role I have been handed," Dhoni explained.

"Somebody has to lose this game, irrespective of political talking.

"At the end one team will have lost and one will be going into the final. That's part and parcel of sport, every sport."

Topics : India Pakistan MS Dhoni Cricket ICC World Cup, 2011
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