Dhoni rues lack of practice time

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Melbourne, Dec 20 (UNI) Dashing wicketkeeper-batsman Mahendra Singh Dhoni has lamented that India did not get much time for practice before the first Test in Melbourne starting December 26.

''We don't really have much time in the practice sessions, this is the only day we are practising. The practice game against Victoria is very crucial, not only for me but all the players after a long time of not playing in Australia,'' the Indian Test vice-captain was quoted as saying by the Herald Sun.

''We definitely would have preferred a bit more time before the start of the Test match, but that's too many ifs and buts. We have to be satisfied with what we've got,'' he added.

''It's my first tour of Australia and it's always good to go out and have a few sessions before a big Test match.'' The men in blue, who arrived in Australia earlier this week, are desparately short of practice time. They only have a single net session and the three-day tour match against Victoria which starts today to prepare for the first Test starting on December 26, leaving them no time to adjust to the conditions.

Speaking on the conditions which the India team is expected to face Down Under, Dhoni said, ''Lots of bounce. That's one of the things apart from aggressive cricket.'' ''I've heard the conditions are very different. They say if you get set here you are on for a big score, especially for the players who look to play their strokes. I'm looking forward to it.'' Ominiously for India, rain had been forecast during the tour match, which could further shorten their limited preparation time.

''If it rains nothing much can be done about it," Dhoni said.

''We can go indoors and have a knock. We can only try to get the best out of whatever opportunities we have.'' ''Australia anywhere in the world is the biggest challenge," he added.

''Whether it is Test match cricket, one-day cricket or T20, they are the chart leaders now. They have played good cricket for a consistently long period of time. That's why they're the best team in the world.'' India start their first tour Down Under with the first Test starting on December 26 at Melbourne.

UNI

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