The 2-0 Test series win is India’s first ever whitewash of Australia, but skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni, while happy with the victory, didn’t go overboard about the achievement.
“It’s easier to do it in a two-match series but difficult to do it in a three, four or five-match series,” he pointed out. “I am fortunate to have a side that has performed very well in the past one and a half years. They have done well in difficult circumstances, whether it’s bowlers or batsmen.”
In the end, India may have reached the target of 207 quite comfortably, but it didn’t look like an easy chase at the start. “It was not an easy target, especially after the last match when Laxman and Ishant had to play a special knock to get us through. But this was a slightly slow and low track where the spinners had to bowl at the right pace and length to get the batsmen out, so it made it slight easier. It all depends on the start.”
Dhoni said the decision to promote Cheteshwar Pujara to number three in place of Rahul Dravid was aimed at having more experience in the lower order. “If Dravid, Sachin and Raina or Pujara bat at No. 3, 4, and 5 respectively, then there wouldn’t be much experience in the lower-order, which is what you really need when you chase a low target like this.
“So we sent Cheteshwar up the order thinking maybe the opposition will be taken by surprise. I thought if the Australians attack him, which they did, then Pujara will have more opportunities to score runs. I think he batted really well. Rather than taking it as a pressure situation, he took it as an opportunity,” he observed.
Dhoni was pleased with youngsters grabbing their opportunities. “Someone like Murali Vijay doesn’t get many opportunities with Sehwag and Gambhir opening the batting. But whenever he does get an opportunity, he has scored runs. In this Test, he made the most of his chance and broke the century barrier and continued on. Pujara too batted really well but was unfortunate to get out early in the first innings but it was a good learning experience for him,” he offered.