Finishing games crucial, says Dhoni

Indian team leaves for England tour

Finishing games crucial, says Dhoni

Indian captain MS Dhoni said that finishing games at the first opportunity will be crucial for his side against a strong team like England during the upcoming five-match Test series beginning July 9 at Trent Bridge, Nottingham.

“(The) 2011 series in England and Australia were very disappointing for us but when we went to South Africa and New Zealand we were not really able to close the games.

It was a good effort by our bowlers but we were denied by some fantastic batting from opposition. When we come to 50-50 situation we should capitalise on that,” said Dhoni at the pre-departure press conference here on Saturday.

He was referring to the first game against South Africa at Johannesburg and the second and last match of the series against New Zealand at Wellington later on. The 18-member Indian squad is set to depart for England in the early hours on Sunday.

Dhoni said that he has decided to play his normal attacking game.

“As far as my batting is concerned, I need to be far more aggressive. When I am aggressive, I am far better than when I try to play like a proper batsman. I intend to go for my shots from the first ball.

“I have to back my instincts. Six to seven batsmen when you play, it is very important to back my strength and not think too much about the situation. It is very important that I back my strength and play aggressive strokes and score runs rather than taking my time,” he said.

Dhoni said it was good that the team was reaching England early which will help the players adjust to the conditions before the two practice games and get into the groove for the series.

Dhoni said it was a good thing that the team comprised 18 members as in the last tour in 2011 they had too many injuries and players had to be flown in.

“In 2011 in Tests and ODIs we had close to 8-9 injuries. We missed one fast bowler (Zaheer Khan) which put pressure on the other players. Last time we lost quite a few players due to injuries and we had to play few players without them getting used to conditions.”

The tour commences on June 26 with a three-day game in Leicester. The visitors are to play one more warm-up three-day game against Derbyshire (July 1-3) before the five-match Test series starts on July 9 at Trent Bridge.

The remaining Tests are to be played at Lord’s (July 17-21), The Rose Bowl in Southampton (July 27-31), Old Trafford (August 7-11) and The Oval (August 15-19).

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