'We'll play more Tests'

Indian skipper Dhoni receives the ICC Test Championship mace

'We'll play more Tests'

MS Dhoni displays the ICC Test Championship mace in  New Delhi on Sunday. AP

India are scheduled to play only two Tests — against Bangladesh in January — in the next 11 months and a proposal to include two Tests in South Africa’s tour to the country in February is being considered by the two boards.

Dhoni though said his side will play more than four Test matches next year.  “Quite a few Test matches are on proposal and I don’t think that we will play only four Tests next year. We will play more than that,” he said after receiving the ICC Test Championships mace from chief executive Haroon Lorgat here.

“It is a special feeling to receive this mace. I am taking this on behalf of the team and BCCI. Being an Indian it is a proud moment. We have really worked hard as a team in the last 14 months to get to this position. We want to remain here longer and everything depends on our performance,” he added.

Lorgat, on his part, said he would be happy if the South African and Indian Cricket Boards can work out on having the two Tests in February.

“Under FTP two countries will have to work out their bilateral series in four or six years time. It is upto them when to visit each other considering their interest. I would be happy if the proposal for inclusion of the two Tests in February is through. India deserved to be a Test number one side,” he said.

Meanwhile, swashbuckling opener Virender Sehwag said coach Gary Kirsten’s unflinching faith in his talent revived his career.

Sehwag said both Kirsten and skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni were very supportive when he returned to the team after being dropped in 2007.

“It was Gary (Kirsten) who gave me tremendous confidence. He told me ‘you are such a talented player. Even if you are out for three ducks, you will be there in the team. You should not put yourself under pressure’. He asked me to play freely,” Sehwag said during a function where the Indian cricket team was handed the ICC Test championship mace.

“When the coach and captain give you so much of confidence, then you enjoy your game and not think about other things,” he said.

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