Toss will be crucial against Pak: Dhoni

Mumbai/bangalore: Gearing up for what promises to be a high-voltage limited-overs series against arch-foes Pakistan, Indian cricket captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni said the toss will play a crucial role in the clashes as both teams are quite similar.

“Winning the toss will be crucial because dew may have an impact. If you see both the sides, they are quite same.

“Their ability to play spinners is quite same. I think it will be nice couple of games,” he said after second and final twenty20 match against England here last night.

The Twenty20 matches against Pakistan are scheduled on December 25 and 28 in Bangalore and Ahmedabad respectively, while the ODI series starts in Chennai on December 30.

The second one-day game against Pakistan will be held in Kolkata on January 3 followed by the last game on January 6 in Delhi.

On playing Pakistan and the importance of the series, Dhoni said, “tell me one series which is not big for us.

“Whether we play England, Pakistan, Australia or any other series. For us it is all the same.

“That is how we look at it and don’t really look into who we are playing because that can only increase the pressure. We keep it very simple, whoever the opposition is. We look at the format and try to execute our plans.”

Hafeez not wary of MS

For his part, Pakistan captain Mohammad Hafeez is not wary of his experienced Indian counterpart and said as a skipper his main aim would be to motivate his team not to buckle under pressure in the limited-over series against the hosts.

“Dhoni is far more experienced captain than me and Misbah-ul Haq. But having said that every captain has to face challenges. My aim will be to see that my side plays without any pressure and express themselves as much they can,” he told reporters after a long practice session on Sunday.

Hafeez said Pakistan is here to play good cricket and winning and losing doesn’t make any difference to his side.

Hafeez also rued the fact that cricket playing nations refusal to tour the strife-torn country due to security reasons has deprived Pakistan from hosting any international matches for the last three years.

He, however, hoped that cricket will return to Pakistan soon and said he was proud of his team’s sterling performances outside the country.

“We wish cricket returns to Pakistan soon and some of our youngsters get a chance to play in front of home crowd,” he said. (PTI)