MS Dhoni feels youngsters in the team will get good exposure in the 2013 Champions Trophy © PTI

Mumbai: May 28, 2013

India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni on Tuesday addressed a press conference ahead of the team’s departure for the ICC Champions Trophy 2013, where he said that India has a balanced side for the tournament.

However, Dhoni evaded questions on the IPL spot-fixing saga. Dhoni merely smiled when two journalists quizzed him on the fixing row, while the media manager turned down the questions.

India, who open their Champions Trophy campaign against South Africa on June 6 and also clash with arch-rivals Pakistan in the group stage, will have a challenging tournament, according to Dhoni. “It is a tough tournament as the top eight teams will be there and each match will be difficult. Overall, it is looking good and we have time for preparation,” Dhoni said.

The Indian skipper believed that it was a good opportunity for youngsters in the team to get exposure on the biggest stage with the top eight teams competing in the tournament.

“It is a good opportunity for all the youngsters who are part of the side. There are a few places that are up for grabs. It will depend on the individuals, how they perform. If it is too cold then the fast bowlers may get a slight edge over the spinners to start off. I think overall it’s a good platform for youngsters to improve themselves to get good exposure,” Dhoni said.

Dhoni also said that there is good interval for the players to get acclimatised to the English conditions.

“For Champions Trophy, everything looks good. We will get a lot of time after the first game we play. Even the three matches in the league stage have lot of interval between them,”

Talking about India’s poor results in the England tour last year where they were whitewashed 4-0, Dhoni said, “We didn’t play well in the Test series. The results might not show, but we had performed well in the ODI series. The performance of the ODI squad was good over there, if you don’t go by the results.”

India had failed to win a single game in the five-match ODI series as well. India lost three matches, tied one while another was washed out.

India are slotted in Group B of the Champions Trophy along with South Africa, Pakistan and West Indies.