Monty made all the difference: Dhoni
Mumbai, Nov 26: To get their 10-wicket win in the Mumbai Test match, England defeated India at their own game. Spin was supposed to be India’s strength and England’s bane. But in the end, it was an England spinner who routed India by claiming 11 wickets in the match.
After the match, the Indian captain admitted that Monty Panesar was the difference between the two sides.
In this Test Monty was different from all the other bowlers,” MS Dhoni said. “Everyone was getting the turn and bounce but Monty bowled with a lot of pace and still was able to get the turn. All the other spinners got some wickets but they never looked like they were troubling the batsmen as much as Monty did.
“Our bowlers too tried to bowl fast but didn’t get the same purchase that Monty got. Every bowler has a different style. Some conditions suit you and some don’t,” Dhoni said.
Besides bowling a lot quicker through the air, what also separated Panesar from his Indian counterparts was his length. He kept bowling full and lured the Indian batsmen forward to drive. His Indian counterparts, however, pitched it short, enabling Kevin Pietersen and Alastair Cook to sit back in the comfort zone of their crease for most part of their 206-run partnership.
“I wish our bowlers pitched it a bit fuller and got Cook and Pietersen to drive more often,” Dhoni said. “If you bowl short on a wicket that has a bit of bounce, the batsmen get that extra time. Cook and Pietersen did well to hang on to the back foot and wait for the ball to spin before playing it.”
“I think this was a very good wicket,” he said. “Test matches in the subcontinent should be played on such tracks to negate the importance of the toss. This wicket was turning from the first day and both teams had equal chances. The team that played better cricket won the game.
“I’d still like a similar track in the coming matches because this is what our speciality is. There’s no point playing on a flat track, trying to win the toss and bat for 3-4 days. You want to face challenges in Test cricket and this was the kind of wicket that pushes you to do that. On such wickets no team is guaranteed a win. You have to play well to win the game,” Dhoni said.
With the heavy loss, calls for ringing changes in the team have got louder. But Dhoni dismissed the idea of making too many alterations in the team for the third Test, in Kolkata.
“You may see individuals coming up with big performances and in this match they came from the England team. I’m not too worried about my team because we too have players who can come up with such performances.
“You don’t want to chop and change players on the basis of a couple of Test matches. You have to give them a fair run so that they feel comfortable and are not always thinking about their place in the side,” the skipper said.