We are prepared for England’s bowlers: Indian captain
Ahead of a third global final — he has already led India to glory at the World Twenty20 2007 and the 2011 World Cup — MS Dhoni insisted that the team would prepare the same way they had for every other match in a tournament in which they have won all their four games.
There was also no undue concern over the weather. Forecasts ahead of the Cardiff semi-final were similarly dire, but apart from the start being delayed by half an hour, rain and Duckworth-Lewis played no role in a crushing victory over Sri Lanka.
Tuesday marks the 30th anniversary of India’s 1983 World Cup success. Dhoni, no great believer in historical portents, was appreciative of his predecessors, without looking too far back or forward. “What we are looking at is tomorrow’s game,” he said. “In this tournament, you only face the best of teams. England are a very good side, and they know the conditions quite well. “1983 was a very special year for us, winning the World Cup for the first time. I would like to wish each and every person who was part of that team and all the support staff involved … thanks for giving us the ‘83 World Cup.”
One possible area of concern is the middle order, which has hardly had any time in the middle. Dhoni, however, said that they were as ready as they could be. “The best that we could have managed was in the practice sessions, to give the guys who have not batted a bit of extra batting, and that’s what we have done so far,” he said.
The last time India played England at Edgbaston, they lost a Test by an innings and 242 runs to surrender the series and also the No. 1 ranking. That series marked the beginning of a fallow run that lasted 18 months, which precipitated the changes that have seen a revival in fortunes in 2013.
Dhoni would never be crass enough to dismiss some of Indian cricket’s greats, but the fact remains that the current side — especially in the one-day arena — is far more in tune with his vision of the game. That vision usually involves tidy rather than destructive bowling. But in helpful conditions, pace bowlers and spinners alike have shone for India, picking up 37 wickets in the four matches so far.