Dhoni clarifies Team India was ‘not ready mentally,’ not fatigued for Oz friendly

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

CHENNAI - Rejecting reports that India’s jam-packed itinerary had taken a physical toll on the players, skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni today said that the team is not fatigued, adding that master blaster Sachin Tendulkar will certainly play in the warm-up tie against New Zealand.

Dhoni clarified that he was only talking about mindset and not about fatigue. The skipper had earlier criticized a cramped schedule for the poor performance against Australia.

The BCCI then slammed comments made by Dhoni, and advised him to skip IPL matches if he was too tired.

The Indian team arrived in the city on Monday evening to play a practice game against New Zealand at the M.A. Chidambaram Stadium on Wednesday.

Dhoni did admit on Tuesday that the “mindset” of his team was not spot-on in the warm-up game against Australia due to its hectic schedule.

Dhoni also said that he and his team were not ready for the warm-up game, which India eventually won by 38 runs in Bangalore on Sunday.

“The mindset was not really there. Mentally, we were not ready, that’s one of the reasons why we couldn’t bat well,” Dhoni told reporters at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium.

“Of course, for the warm-up game, mentally it was very difficult to prepare yourself,” he said.

Commenting on a minor groin injury scare to Zaheer Khan, Dhoni told reporters that the pace spearhead will be rested for the practice game against New Zealand.

The left-armer missed the fourth and final day of the preparatory camp in Bangalore on Saturday, and subsequently missed the warm-up tie against Australia. However, Zaheer will lead India’s attack in the opening fixture against Bangladesh at Dhaka. (ANI)

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