Mumbai: India captain MS Dhoni has said that he and his team-mates are physically and mentally prepared for the grueling season ahead.
Speaking at the launch of Team India’s new Twenty20 jersey, Dhoni said the one-and-a-half-month break that the team got before the recently concluded Sri Lanka tour proved very important for every player.
"The team is all fit from the physical and mental aspects. The one-and-a-half-month break [after the last IPL] was very good from that point of view. Even on the tour of Sri Lanka [where the team played five ODIs and a one-off T20 game] we had breaks between each game. We are quite ready for the packed season ahead," Dhnoi said.
Referring to the upcoming two-Test series against New Zealand, the Indian captain said they are getting into the mode of Test cricket and then they will shift their attention to the T20s. "Slowly we will get into the Test format now and then the T20s. There is lot of cricket ahead ending with the IPL. We have to look ahead every 15 days," Dhoni added.
The first Test between the hosts India and New Zealand will start in Hyderabad on August 23. The visitors will play one more Test at Bangalore before ending their tour with two T20 internationals at Vizag and Chennai. That will be followed by the ICC World Twenty20 in Sri Lanka from September 18 to October 7. The season will continue with the visit by England and Australia before the IPL 6.
Talking about the return of Yuvraj Singh after recovering from rare a germ cell cancer, Dhoni said his presence will once again make the dressing room livelier. "When Yuvraj was not there Virat had taken upon that job. We missed Yuvraj as a character in the dressing room, apart from his batting skills. With him being back the atmosphere in the dressing room will become livelier again," he remarked.
Yuvraj said he had trained hard at the NCA in Bangalore in the last two months and was feeling good. But he is a bit nervous too after a long break. "I am feeling good as I have worked hard for the last two months. But I am nervous [too]. I never thought I would get another chance [to play for India]. I feel as if it is the first game for me," said Yuvraj who has been selected in the Indian squad for the two T20s against New Zealand and for the World T20.
Speaking about the new jersey, Virender Sehwag said the non-sweaty nature of the jersey would help players in the hot and humid conditions in Southern India and Sri Lanka. "When I wear the India colours I have to give my best. That's what I always focus on. The jersey also has the colour of the national flag on it [along with blue] which is close to my heart. That [tri-colour] makes it very special," Sehwag said.
The key features of the uniform include the new collar, a dash of tricolour near the left shoulder and three stars above the BCCI's logo signifying the three World Cup victories.
Virat Kohli termed the new jersey as stylish. "[The new jersey] is pretty stylish and the colour and design are also eye-catching." Besides Dhoni, Yuvraj, Sehwag and Kohli, Irfan Pathan, Ajinkya Rahane and Rohit Sharma were also present at the ceremony.
With inputs from PTI