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Pathan gives thumbs-up to captain Dhoni

Team India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni clearly enjoys the backing of his teammates and left-arm pacer Irfan Pathan on Wednesday came out to vouch for the leadership qualities of his skipper.

Pathan said Dhoni showed trust in his teammates in Australia and motivated others and the result was the tri-series triumph Down Under.

“Three-four overs before the end of finals, he asked me to be prepared to take the ball. Such small things boost the morale of players, especially bowlers,” recalled Pathan.

The left-arm pacer, who was here to promote a telecom company, also dismissed notion that there was a senior-junior rift in the side.

“We don’t talk about seniors or juniors. Neither me nor anyone else,” Pathan said.

Asked if experience should also be a consideration for selection, Pathan said, “Performance is must and is accepted by all.”

To a query about on-field sledging, he said the Indian team handled the situation well in Australia.

“It was a group of young players and each one handles sledging differently. Nobody can prepare himself to deal with sledging, it is how one reacts to the situation,” he said.

He also had a word of advise for India’s World Cup winning under-19 team. Pathan said it was their formative stage and with right advise, fitness levels and hard work, they could definitely graduate to the Indian team.

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