Going into the third Test against England, India find themselves in the box seat with a 1-0 lead. However, skipper, MS Dhoni, believes the score line is of little importance in a five-match series and it will not dictate terms on what personnel are called upon for the Southampton Test.
“In a five-Test series a 1-0 lead is not really big. So, we will not be looking at the score line yet when making the team-related decisions,” Dhoni said. “We will look at the wicket and play the team that is best on that wicket.”
One thing that was very clear, however, from Dhoni’s words is that Ravindra Jadeja will get a game at the Ageas Bowl, meaning R Ashwin will have to wait for his turn if India continue to field one spinner.
“When he starts being himself while batting, you see he has a lot of talent,” Dhoni said about Jadeja, referring to his 68-run knock in the second innings of the Lord’s Test. “The innings he played at Lord’s will give him a lot of confidence going forward in all the Test matches that he plays.”
Stressing on Jadeja’s importance in the bowling attack, Dhoni continued, “It also gives us the liberty of resting the other bowlers because he will keep it tight from one end, irrespective of whether the ball is turning or not. He is a very vital instrument in our playing XI as of now.”
The captain was also all praise for Murali Vijay, who has batted brilliantly under pressure in the first two Tests. Dhoni wants his opener to stick with the process that got him the knocks of 146 and 95 at Trent Bridge and Lord’s respectively.
“He has been batting really well,” Dhoni said. “What he has done well in this series is that he has left the balls well, which is very crucial. But at the same time he has been positive in that he has not been afraid to drive the balls that are meant to be driven. He has scored those runs and played his shots.
“The important thing for him now will be to capitalize on the start he has got in the first two Tests and not think about the runs he has already scored. He will do well to just be in the present and adapt to the wicket that he is batting on, on that particular day,” Dhoni said.