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Dhoni tells players to cool it with fans
Greg Buckle
17:21 AEST Thu Jan 12 2012

India captain MS Dhoni is urging his players to be smarter with how they react to fans, and use the abuse to spur them on in the third Test at the WACA Ground starting on Friday.

Pace bowler Ishant Sharma flipped a one-fingered salute at a sarcastic fan at a go-kart session in Perth on Monday, while batsman Virat Kohli was fined half his match fee for performing a similar gesture at the crowd during last week's second Test in Sydney.

Kohli reportedly claimed he was reacting to abusive comments made about members of his family.

Dhoni says it's in his team's best interests to avoid such gestures in Friday's third Test in Perth against what he describes as the aggressive Aussie crowds.

"I was having a chat with a few players about this," Dhoni said on Thursday.

"If somebody starts something, more often than not it's the retaliator who gets stuck and gets punished.

"We need to get smart about what needs to be done.

"A few gestures, if we can avoid it it's in our best interests.

"You have to be smart as to what people are trying to do and how you are reacting to a particular situation.

"Everybody's fantastic early in the morning, but once after the tea session, after a couple of barrels of beer it gets a bit difficult.

"The Aussie fans - they are a bit aggressive and they're quite vocal about it.

"It's something you need to learn as to how you interact with the fans, how you can convert them into ... to push you to perform."

Dhoni deflected criticism from former India captain Sunil Gavaskar over the decision to have a go-kart session on Monday and not resume training until Tuesday following the Sydney Test.

Dhoni also defended his captaincy after being accused of letting the game roll along without being proactive.

"It's easier to look from outside and comment on the particular decisions that are taken because more often than not you see the results and then comment on it," Dhoni said.

"More often than not the best decision always comes after the time when the decision is needed.

"It's about taking a good decision at the right time. That's what I try to do and at times I go wrong and at times I don't go wrong."

Dhoni looked unimpressed as he inspected the green-tinged WACA pitch after his press conference.

He's leaving open the possibility dropping spinner Ravichandran Ashwin as the tourists look to bounce back after convincingly losing the opening two Tests of the four-match series.

"We have to see how much grass there is and whether a spinner will get some kind of assistance or not," he said.


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