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World Cup more important - MS Dhoni opts not to come home to visit his newborn girl

Alagappan V
17.38K   //    07 Feb 2015, 09:36 IST
MS Dhoni wants to focus on World Cup

Indian cricket captain MS Dhoni, who is currently on national duty in Australia, has said that he wouldn’t come home to visit his newborn girl, as the World Cup – which will begin from February 14 in Australia and New Zealand – is more important. Dhoni was blessed with a baby girl yesterday

Speaking to the media ahead of the team’s first warm-up match, against Australia at the Adelaide Oval tomorrow, Dhoni said: “Yes, I have been blessed with a baby daughter. Both mom and child are fine.”

When asked if he has any plans of coming home to pay a visit, he said: "No, I am on national duty. World Cup is important for me and I rather be here."

‘Important not to think about expectations’

India will go into the tournament as defending champions after winning the World Cup in 2011, which was held in the Indian subcontinent. Dhoni said: “Important for us to not think about expectations. We constantly deal with high expectations from fans. For us, keeping top-order wickets intact while batting and taking opposition’s middle order wickets while bowling will be crucial.”

Co-hosts Australia and New Zealand are billed as favourites to win the trophy. Dhoni, however, believes that being the home team is never easy in a tournament such as the World Cup. He said: “Stats tell you that being hosts of World Cup is not easy. Australia and New Zealand will experience the same as well. When World Cup happened in India, people expected us to win not because we were a good team, but because it was happening in India.”

‘Only time will tell the Australian series’ impact’

India have been in Australia for more than two months, but they haven’t tasted a single victory yet - having lost both the Test series, against Australia, and the Carlton Mid ODI tri-series involving England as the third team. When asked if the long tour has taken a toll on the players, he said: “There is a fine line between cooked and under-cooked in terms of preparation. If you do barbecue, you will understand that. Only time will tell if the long tour will have an impact on us.”

India’s first group match is against arch-rivals Pakistan on February 15. On the high-voltage clash, Dhoni said: For me personally it is same as any other match. If you think otherwise, the pressure will get to you. We have two warm-up games before that. We want to use them, get our best XI, not sure if we have a big advantage.”

Quotes, courtesy Chetan Narula