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MS Dhoni © IANS

India have already been tirelessly playing cricket for the past one year. With the upcoming tough tour of South Africa scheduled to get underway from January 2018, India already have a task at hand as they are currently playing visitors Sri Lanka in a full tour. The three-Test series is already underway, which will be followed by a three-match ODI and T20I series respectively. Owing to the cramped scheduling, Virat Kohli has asked the BCCI to be more careful regarding the schedules in order to avoid fatigue in the team. His thoughts have also been backed by MS Dhoni who opines that the team needs time to be mentally prepared for tough tours such as South Africa. FULL CRICKET SCORECARD: India vs Sri Lanka 2017-18, 2nd Test at Nagpur

On cramped scheduling

“It is absolutely right, because we play so much cricket that we do not get much preparation time when we go overseas to play. But as an international cricketer, this is also a challenge. It takes some time to get used to, but if you see this team, there are many cricketers who have played overseas and it helps a lot. If they get six to eight or 10 days, it is good, but whatever time they get, I think they will do well,” said Dhoni.

On the upcoming South Africa tour

“This time when the [Test] team leaves for South Africa, they will only get some time to prepare before playing the matches. The ODI team after that will also want to try to get seven to eight days because the conditions are different there, there is more bounce.”

On Indo-Pak cricket

“When it comes to India-Pakistan cricket, it is not just sports, but becomes much bigger than that. It is not a simple decision, but a diplomatic and a political decision. So, it is a big decision and I think we should leave it to the government to decide. If the government decides, we will go and play and if they decide against it, we will play some other series.”

“It’s not just cricket and to say that it’s just cricket, would be wrong. It is much more than that and it impacts economy a lot. It is said that sports should be kept away from politics, but when it comes to cricket and involvement of Indian cricket team — be it a bilateral series or any big tournament — it is not just cricket because wherever we go to play, we generate a lot of money and ultimately that money flows into the economy.”

On Suresh Raina’s comment of him being angry off camera

“We also enjoy inside the dressing room, we talk, the pitch-level is sometimes high and sometimes low. The meaning of cool that we associate is calm and if not cool then an angry one. There are many zones in the middle of it where you enjoy and make fun. Once [I am playing] in the ground, I do not joke around, but inside the dressing room I enjoy a lot. So, I conduct myself according to how I think I should conduct myself in different areas.”