No room for sentiments against Pakistan: Dhoni

Chennai: Brushing aside voices of criticism over playing against Pakistan, Indian cricket captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni today said the series will have to be played and there is no room for sentiments. "We are professional cricketers. The series will have to be played and we have to get ready for it. Sentiment does not play any part since we are taught to be professionals on field," he told reporters.

Former batting great Sunil Gavaskar and all-rounder Kirti Azad had criticised the BCCI`s decision to resume cricket ties with Pakistan in the wake of its failure to take action against those responsible for the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks. Dhoni said that the short series against Pakistan would be a bit tough for the players because of the hectic schedule but added that they would have to be ready and do well against their arch-rivals. Asked about the three ODI and two Twenty20 Internationals against Pakistan in December-January, Dhoni said,

"We have to be positive and we have to understand that we are representing the country. It will be a bit tough because of the hectic schedule but we have to do well against Pakistan also," he said ahead of the team`s departure for the limited overs series in Sri Lanka. India and Pakistan are set to revive their cricketing ties after close to five years with the three ODIs and and two T20 Internationals scheduled for December-January in the country.