We can’t be overconfident: Dhoni
Bengaluru, Aug 30: Since quite some time now, MS Dhoni has voiced his opinion on the need to prepare turning tracks in India. And looking at India’s handsome innings and 115-run win in Hyderabad, one might think the Indian captain has his wish fulfilled. However, ahead of the second Test in Bengaluru, Dhoni credited India’s 1-0 lead in the series to the hard work and discipline on part of his spinners rather than a friendly wicket.
He said that he would like to see wickets offer a little more help to his spinners, as that is the quality that sets the tracks in the subcontinent apart from those in other parts of the world. During his interaction with the media on the eve of the second Test, the Indian captain also spoke about the changing face of India’s Test batting line-up and even Sachin Tendulkar.
On the Hyderabad wicket
We were expecting turning tracks for this series. However, the last wicket wasn’t a turning track and neither does this look like one. In the last Test, our spinners got a lot of wickets, but I thought that they had to work hard to get their wickets. Ashwin bowled brilliantly and Ojha kept it tight. I feel if we get a bit more bounce and turn for the spinners, it will be great. Every place is special for their conditions and wickets; but unlike Australia, South Africa and other countries, we’re not providing for what we’re known for. Subcontinent is known for the spinning tracks.
On the team combination for the second Test
There’s no chance of playing three spinners on this wicket. We’ll see what the final look of the wicket is like. It will depend on the sunshine that we get today and the final preparations. Until we see the track tomorrow, we are not certain of what combination we want to play.
On New Zealand’s bowling attack
They’re a good bowling side. Especially on this wicket with overcast weather, they’ll come up with good bowling plans and execute them well. Hyderabad was a bit different and there wasn’t much for the fast bowlers. Still, they got wickets. Of course, they rely a lot on their pace attack. The initial period will be very crucial; we need to negotiate them well and ensure we don’t lose early wickets.
On whether the team’s plans and approach will change after the big win in Hyderabad
We cannot be overconfident. We’re one side that always respects the opposition, wherever we play. Whatever we did right in the first Test, we’ll have to repeat all of that. We need to stick to the basics and keep things simple. We don’t want to complicate things too much; just try to win sessions and put pressure on them.
On his role as a batsman in the new-look batting order
Somebody needs to bat with the tailenders. We’ve seen that if the last three-four batsmen contribute with the bat, it’s very frustrating for the opponents. At the same time, there’s an addition to the runs that the top and middle order batsmen have scored and that is very crucial. That’s the role that I and the batsman batting at No.6 will play.
On whether the advent of young batsmen puts more pressure on Tendulkar to perform
He’s perfectly happy. He has always been under pressure, irrespective of the combination of the team or where we’re playing. He scores a 45 or 50 and people think he’s not scored runs. He’s always been under such pressure, and will continue to be, as long as he plays. The most important thing is that he’s enjoying cricket. Even now, when he comes to the practice sessions, he wants to improve every day.
On Cheteshwar Pujara’s fitness after taking a blow at forward short-leg in the first Test
He is a bit sore, but the good thing is that he batted and fielded today. He took a hard hit, which will take some time to recover fully; but I don’t think that’s restricting his movement. So, I believe he’s available for selection.