India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni doesn’t like it if his team is called ‘sub-continental’ kings, even if they have lost three major overseas tours — England, Australia and recently South Africa — and convincingly won over Australia, West Indies and New Zealand at home in the last two years.
Hours before leaving for the New Zealand tour, Dhoni said it was the media who gave them the tagline of ‘lions at home and lambs abroad’.
“It’s the media that loves to associate us with the tagline of sub-continental kings,” he said at a press conference here on Saturday.
“We lost in the last series in South Africa and before that we didn’t perform well in England and Australia but other than that we have done really well in West Indies and New Zealand,” the 32-year-old skipper added.
“If you see in South Africa, we did very well in the two Test matches series. We lost the second Test because we did poorly in one session of two and half hours,” Dhoni said.
Dhoni sounded happy with the players he got during the transition. “Quite a few people were speculating about how the batsmen/bowlers will do. Now we know we have got a set of players who will do well irrespective of how we are playing and that is a big positive,” he said.
“There will be challenges and it is very important to hold fort in home conditions and win those games and at the same time try to do well outside. We have quite a few teams going abroad, visiting different countries and they have also lost there,” Dhoni added.
However, the captain doesn’t want his batsmen to get too much into technique when touring abroad.
“I feel it is very important as an individual not to think too much about technique when touring abroad. You want to tune up your game a bit, tinker around but at the same time your basics will be your basics.”
Dhoni, who is a crucial middle order batsman, feels that he needs to improve too, especially outside India.
“I would definitely like to improve my performance especially when touring abroad. But if I am batting at seven and I lose the batsmen on the other end, then more often than not I go for my shots. We want our tailenders to spend some time in the middle so that we can still look to get at least 30-50 runs and that in turn will really add to the score that we get,” he said.
The captain said that since New Zealand is one of the hosts for the ICC Cricket World Cup in 2015, this five-match ODI series will act like a rehearsal for India.
“Most of the players will get the feel about the wickets,” he signed off.
Jan 19: 1st ODI, Napier
Jan 22: 2nd ODI, Hamilton
Jan 25: 3rd ODI, Auckland
Jan 28: 4th ODI, Hamilton
Jan 31: 5th ODI, Wellington
Feb 2-3: Warm-up game
Feb 6-10: 1st Test, Auckland
Feb 14-18: 2nd Test, Wellington