We need to learn to capitalise on situations: Dhoni

Seamer Ishwar Pandey replaces Ojha

We need to learn to capitalise on situations: Dhoni

Desperate to bring the Indian team’s faltering tour of New Zealand back on track, skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni on Wednesday asked his players to dictate terms by capitalising crucial situations in the two-match Test series starting here on Thursday.

India were hammered 0-4 in the five-match ODI series which led to the team losing its numero uno ranking in the ICC chart.

Dhoni revisited the team’s performance in the Test series in South Africa to motivate his squad. “If we consider the last series we played, we had one bad session, two-and-a-half-hours of bad cricket. Compared to the cricket we played throughout the series that was really good,” said Dhoni.

“We have not capitalised when we had crucial situations in the game. That is the only area of concern to some extent. The batsmen batted really well, but just those couple of hours where we did not do well. We have seen in this format, it can have a big impact on the game.

“It is important that when we are in a situation where we can command authority or dictate terms, it is very important we go through that phase and keep building on it,” he added.

Dhoni said his team has got enough time to put the ODI disappointment behind and be ready for the two-Test series. Dhoni’s men now need at least a drawn series, if not an outright win, to retain their number two ranking in Tests. With the exception of Pragyan Ojha (Ishwar Pandey replacing him), this is the same Test squad that lost 1-0 in South Africa before this tour.

“We have had just enough time to get back into the groove. We had a practice game also. It is enough time, especially since we played five ODIs here. Most of the team remains unchanged.

“They have already had a look at the wickets, what they will be like, how they will play,” he said.

Dhoni went on to talk about his two senior-most bowlers, Zaheer Khan and Ishant Sharma, who will be leading the attack once again in this Test series. “Zaheer not only brings motivation, but also new plans and helps the youngsters to execute them. He is a real help to the fast bowlers as he is someone who has played a lot outside the subcontinent.

It is always good to have an experienced bowler in the side,” said Dhoni. “More often than not we have used Ishant as a one-change bowler. That again is a very crucial slot. At times with the Kookaburra ball, you don’t get a lot of swing after 25-30 overs.

“It is important you keep hitting the same length, and try to get the batsmen out with his extra bounce. It will be crucial for him to keep it tight, keep bowling in the same areas, keep hitting the length we want him to, and build on pressure,” he added.

India lack experience in the batting department though. Herein they are led by Virat Kohli and Cheteshwar Pujara, with the latter in keen focus here at the start of this Test series. “Pujara has been really consistent. He is more of a banker. He respects the bowlers, wants them to pitch in his areas, and gives himself plenty of time,” Dhoni said.

DH Newsletter Privacy Policy Get top news in your inbox daily
GET IT
Comments (+)