Adelaide: India's players say they are focused on next week's opening Test as Mahendra Singh Dhoni's arrival in Australia on Saturday raised hopes he may lead his team against the home side at the Adelaide Oval.
Shikhar Dhawan at a media interaction in Adelaide on Saturday. Pic/Getty Images
The tourists, like the Australians, are coming to terms with the tragic death of Test batsman Phillip Hughes, which plunged the cricket world into mourning. The Indians are preparing for Tuesday's Test after a couple of two-day games against a Cricket Australia XI, while the Australian squad only begun training on Friday following the funeral of Hughes on Wednesday.
The rescheduling of the Test series has opened the door for Dhoni to lead the Indians in the series opener in Adelaide. Dhoni would have missed the originally scheduled first Test in Brisbane, slated to start last Thursday, because of a wrist injury. Dhoni flew into Adelaide on Saturday and will train with his teammates on Sunday.
Batsman Shikhar Dhawan stated that stand-in skipper Virat Kohli will have to wait a little more to lead the side given that Dhoni has arrived in time for the opening Test. "Both are aggressive captains. But there is a certain difference. Virat is a lot more charged up on the field. It is enjoyable playing under both of them. It might be a longer wait for Virat to lead India in Test cricket since Dhoni is here now," Dhawan said.
Rohit Sharma said the first Test would be welcomed by a mourning cricket world. "It was a very sad incident but cricket has to go on, the game will go on," he told reporters. "Mentally, everyone is focused to do well. When you go out on the park, the only thing is about how to perform and give your best. That incident of Phil Hughes will definitely be in everyone's minds, but when it comes to this game we'll all be focused on how to do well."