Cricket: India not scared says Dhoni

India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni doubts his batsmen are worried about the prospect of facing Australia's much vaunted pace attack in their World Cup quarterfinal.

"They definitely have very good fast bowlers, but don't forget we have won test matches at Perth and Durban," Dhoni told a news conference Wednesday on the eve of the quarterfinal.

Australia captain Ricky Ponting had earlier indicated that he was banking on the pace trio of Brett Lee, Shaun Tait and Mitchell Johnson to unsettle the Indian batsmen early.

Australian batsman Mike Hussey said he was expecting the fast bowlers to use bouncers as a weapon against India.

Dhoni said it wasn't a new gameplan, and his batsmen were prepared for it.

"The best batsmen in the world don't like facing short-pitched deliveries and I don't think it is a new strategy," he said.

Dhoni said he was not concerned about three major batting collapses in the group phase, including losing the last nine wickets for 29 runs against South Africa.

"In all those games we were in a good position and wanted to accelerate and get as many runs as possible.

That's why we lost the number of wickets that we did," he explained of the failures in the batting powerplays.

"I think the way out is that you need to look to get as many runs as possible, but once you have lost two or three wickets, you need to curb your instincts and look to bat 50 overs. Instead of 40 runs, look to get 20-25 which can really count," he said.

Asked if India was too dependent on pace bowler Zaheer Khan, who has taken 15 wickets in the tournament, Dhoni said it was just a matter of who was hitting form at the right time.

"We have relied on Zaheer to give us those breakthroughs and he has always responded well. The responsibility is with all the players, but at the same time if it is with Zaheer Khan, we don't mind it as long as we have capitalized on the opportunities," he said.

Dhoni, who led India to victory in the inaugural Twenty20 World Championship in 2007, said India-Australia matches are special because they are played with a lot of intensity.

"Well, I think in the last two or three years our bilateral series is the most viewed series," he said. "The whole world is keeping a keen eye on these contests between the players and that is also the reason why we are seeing more intensity and people wanting to perform in these big games."

Australia hasn't won a World Cup since Kapil Dev's team stunned the West Indies in the final in 1983. The Australians have won the last three titles, including a comprehensive 125-run win over India in the 2003 final.

- AP

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