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Dhoni wary of England


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Dhoni insisted he was taking nothing for granted ahead of the world champions' clash with hosts England. -Photo by Reuters
Dhoni insisted he was taking nothing for granted ahead of the world champions' clash with hosts England. -Photo by Reuters

CARDIFF: India may be entering the Champions Trophy final on the back of the only unbeaten run in the tournament but captain MS Dhoni insisted he was taking nothing for granted ahead of the world champions' clash with hosts England at Edgbaston on Sunday.

India thrashed Asian rivals Sri Lanka, the team they beat to win the 2011 World Cup final on home soil in Mumbai, by eight wickets in Cardiff on Thursday.

After Dhoni won an important toss in overcast conditions, excellent seam bowling from man-of-the-match Ishant Sharma (three for 30), Bhuvaneshwar Kumar (one for 18) and Umesh Yadav put a brake on Sri Lanka's scoring from the start, with the islanders struggling to 181 for eight off 50 overs, with only captain Angelo Mathews (51) and Mahela Jayawardene (38) making notable scores.

India then cruised to their victory target of 182 with 15 overs to spare thanks to 68 from opener Shikhar Dhawan, who extended his record as the tournament's leading scorer to 332 runs, at an average of more than 110, and Virat Kohli's 58 not out.

England, bidding for a first major one-day international title, looked in fine form in defeating South Africa by seven wickets at The Oval in Wednesday's first semi-final.

“I think they are a very good side, like each and every side when it comes to the Champions Trophy, which means all of them are strong enough to beat anyone on that particular day and win the trophy,” Dhoni said.

“England are a very good side. We have played quite often in the last couple of years so we know the same amount about them and they know the same about us,” added Dhoni, whose side have eight of their last 10 one-dayers against England, albeit all those matches were in India.

But Sharma, asked if an England top order including captain Alastair Cook, Ian Bell and Jonathan Trott, known collectively for solid rather than spectacular run-making, was the most dangerous India had faced in this competition, replied: “I don't think so.

“If you are bowling in a good area no batsmen will enjoy playing you, that is what we have been doing in the last five games and we will do the same thing in the final.

“We have played good cricket until now, we don't need to change anything. We will stick to the patterns and our strengths and we will keep doing the same thing in the final.”

Sri Lanka skipper Mathews said the toss had been vital.

“It was a bad day at the office, the toss was vital I thought,” he said.

“The wicket was swinging and seaming so the batters were finding it hard to time the ball, especially with the two new balls. It was not coming on; it was a bit two-paced and there was a bit of lateral movement.

“It got a bit easier but I thought 182 was just below par. With the Indian batting line-up at least 250 would have been a good score on that.

“We are disappointed and the whole nation is disappointed, but I'm also sure the whole nation and the team is also quite happy that we reached the semi-finals, because it's the best eight teams and we competed against the best.

“Unfortunately once again we choked in the semi-finals against India.”

Asked to pick a winner, Mathews said the final was too close to call.

“That's a toughie. Both teams are quite even and on that day whoever does less mistakes will win the game,” he said.

Meanwhile Mathews insisted he was not worried by two incidents of anti-Sri Lankan government demonstrators invading the pitch.

“I was not really concerned. We as cricketers are not really bothered about what is happening around,” he said.

“I think it was unfortunate there was a reaction today after the Oval game (Sri Lanka beat Australia at the London ground on Monday), but I can't really comment,” Mathews added.

Comments (22) Closed

Kamran Khan Jun 21, 2013 05:07pm

Should be a good match, If had to pick sides, I wish India well - the trophy should come back to the region, and not particular too keen on the goras taking it again..

Ahmad Jun 21, 2013 07:48pm

India will crush England.....

Ali Jun 21, 2013 08:19pm

No matter who wins, both teams are great. Although I cheer for Pakistan but will be watching this game with great interest. I love to see Dhawan bat. what a great find? great job selecting.

Dipanjay Jun 21, 2013 09:34pm

@Kamran Khan: Thanks very much for your support. I wish a bright future of Pakistan's cricket.

bikram singh Jun 21, 2013 11:14pm

@Kamran Khan: thanks kamran

nikhil Jun 21, 2013 11:47pm

@Kamran Khan: good thought. May God Bless us All here in Asia

Rich Jun 22, 2013 12:54am

@Kamran Khan: India bought worldcup, we do not want to sell again. I want England to win trophy.

Ahmer Jun 22, 2013 01:25am

Dhoni is already shaking. So far, it is either the weather or the toss that has brought a very mediocre India into the finals. That luck cannot last forever.

Nadeem Ullah Jun 22, 2013 01:47am

Indians have been playing at their best in this tournament. Best of luck to them in the final. It would be a worth watching game though :-)

naveen Jun 22, 2013 05:14am

@Kamran Khan: agreed mate

Shaan Jun 22, 2013 06:52am

Very best of luck to the men in Blue, awesome job so far need to finish in a grand way, the world champs should bring the CT home. India jitega, India zindabad.

Shaan Jun 22, 2013 06:50am

@Kamran Khan: Good to hear some Pakistanis are supporting India.

df Jun 22, 2013 09:45am

@Kamran Khan: Thanks Kamran, we wish that Pakistani cricket returns to it's former glory of Imran and Miadad days.

Afif Naeem Jun 22, 2013 09:51am

May the best team win!

Nabeel Jun 22, 2013 10:00am

I think India is a strong side in all among, and they have a big line up of batsman

P.Mishra Jun 22, 2013 10:01am

@Kamran Khan: We appreciate your thinking.

Ajay Vikram Singh Jun 22, 2013 10:53am

@Kamran Khan: Thanks. we will bring back the trophy to our region. in Goro k din poore ho gaye in sports and otherwise too.

amit Jun 22, 2013 11:00am

@Kamran Khan: Hi Kamran...thanks for wishing India to win a champion trophy....

Bolkalia Jun 22, 2013 04:13pm

India clearly is the better team by miles. I would be dissapointed if India loses. Trophy should be in Asia!

NotPakistaini Jun 22, 2013 08:48pm

@Kamran Khan:

'Goras' ?

Why are you Pakistanis always so full of hate and rage in your hearts. No wonder your country is such a failure and a frightening place. Why can't simply the better team win?

saroj kumar Jun 22, 2013 11:22pm

agree with u friend

mushtaq Jun 23, 2013 02:12am

Well deserve team. Hats off to Dhoni and whole team.