Dhoni: Sachin hype not a distraction

KOLKATA, India - On Tuesday, India’s skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni admitted that Team India was trying to focus on the cricket despite the frenzy around Sachin Tendulkar's final Test match in Kolkata. India lock horns with the West Indies in the first of the two-Test series from Wednesday.

Speaking to reporters, Dhoni said: “We are trying to keep distractions to minimum and focus on cricket despite all the hype around Sachin's retirement. This was expected. We were mentally prepared. The team will just focus on the game when the match starts.”

On the master blaster's retirement, Dhoni said Tendulkar will be missed both in the dressing room and on the field.

“He has been one who constantly kept a tab on youngsters and always gave suggestions. We will miss all this,” said Dhoni. “The focus has been brilliant. We are not thinking anything about the retirement. It is absolutely normal. In a way, the guys have maintained the normalcy.”

It's been a hectic week for India. On November 2, they beat Australia in a thrilling high-scoring contest to win the seven-match ODI series 3-2. Now, it’s time for Test cricket. Dhoni said: “... format is a big change. In Tests, the ball doesn’t come onto the bat as much as it does in ODIS. There is a big change, but it has been addressed.”

Eden Gardens has traditionally been a slow turner but it will assist the batsmen in the first three days for sure. Dhoni made no predictions.

“We will have to see the wicket again. Will have to wait and watch.”

Tue, 11/05/2013 - 08:26