No Champions Trophy hangover, insists Dhoni

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It has not even been a week since India won the Champions Trophy but captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni said the team is done with the celebrations and firmly focussed on the tri-series against West Indies and Sri Lanka starting here today.

“The demands remain the same. The expectation when it comes to the Indian cricket team has always been the same,” Dhoni said at the launch of the Celkon Mobile Cup here.

“If it’s moving, it only moves in one direction — it goes up. It doesn’t matter whether we have won the last series or lost or what has happened on the field,” he explained.

India play West Indies in their first game at the Sabina Park here on Sunday.

Dhoni attributed the team’s recent success to a friendly dressing room atmosphere where the players “enjoy each others success.”

The Champions Trophy triumph in England means India, the numero uno side in the ICC rankings, now hold both the major ODI titles following their victory in the World Cup on home soil two years ago.

And Dhoni said he was lucky to have players at his disposal who are not afraid of pressure.

“I’m fortunate to have the players in the side to really soak up the pressure,” he said.

“What we have done really well is we have enjoyed each others’ success and that has really contributed to the side winning most of the games,” the wicket-keeper batsman said.

“If I’m happier than the person who has actually scored a century or a fifty, you understand that’s the kind of atmosphere that you want, because at the end of the day, what we play is a team sport,” he added.

Dhoni said there is fierce competition for places in the Indian team but it has never spilled over into personal rivalries.

“It’s important that the guys sitting out just to wait for their chance, not think that if this guy does badly I will get a chance. They can use that period to improve themselves and whenever the chance, whatever the reason may be, fitness or form, they try to earn that place in the side,” he said.

“We have been able to create that kind of atmosphere and it’s really reflected in the performances that we have given.”

Each team in the triangular series plays the other twice before the final on July 11 in Trinidad.

Meanwhile, West Indies skipper Dwayne Bravo said there is plenty at stake in the triangular series even though it doesn’t hold the same significance as the Champions Trophy.

“It’s always good to play here in Jamaica. We have a very good record and that will be in the back of our minds,” Bravo said.

“But if we don’t prepare well and execute our plans, it won’t count for anything. As much as we are happy playing at home, we still have to do the basics right in order to be successful.”

Sri Lanka captain Angelo Mathews said going by recent form, the island nation starts as underdog in the series.

“They are the two current reigning champions of the T20 and the one-days. So to match them we need to play some really good cricket. We feel like we’re the underdogs but I feel I’ve got the team to do well in this format and I’m pretty confident of my team,” he said.

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