Boycott praise for Dhoni

Former England captain Geoffrey Boycott said that the Indian players know that the Oval Test is already lost and praised India skipper Mahendra Singh for his valiant 82 in the first innings.

Thanks to Dhoni’s 82, India made 148 before being bowled out by England.Boycott said the Indians know that the Test is already lost on the first day itself and that is the hardest part.

“The India players themselves know the game is lost. That’s the hardest; it’s soul-destroying because there’s so much time. It’s hard to motivate yourself and convince yourself you have a chance of winning,” Boycott said on BBC Test Match Special.

Boycott praised Dhoni’s style of batting on seaming pitches and said had it not been for the captain India’s first innings score would have been embarrassing.

“We say Dhoni is unorthodox, but on swinging, seaming pitches he plays a ball late and under his nose so your bat and pad are close to your body. You might play and miss occasionally, but he doesn’t get tortured by that - and when the bad ball comes along, he tonks it. He played a fine innings - not aesthetic - but without him, the score would have been embarrassing,” he said.

The Englishman also blasted Indian slip-fielders, especially after Murali Vijay dropped a simple chance from England captain Alastair Cook off Varun Aaron.

“He (Vijay) doesn’t have to move very far - you can’t get any better than that.
 They’re hopeless, aren’t they? If you can’t catch cuckoos like that, you’ve no chance,” said Boycott.

Boycott was also not impressed with Bhuvneshwar Kumar bowling bouncers at 78 mph.

“The brain gets scrambled. They just can’t think straight. There’s Kumar, bowling 78mph, bowling bouncers,” he said.

Boycott also had words of praise for fellow Yorkshireman Gary Ballance. “The Yorkshire members will tell you Ballance is a man for the tough situation because he’s mentally strong. Ever since he’s come to the club, under pressure, he’s been good,” said Boycott. 

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