Dhoni blames batting collapse for loss, hopes to win in PerthJanuary 07, 2012 17:55
India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni blamed the first innings batting collapse for the innings and 68 runs loss in the second Test here Friday, but hoped for a turnaround against Australia in the third Test on a bouncy WACA track at Perth.
"We were down in the first session on the first day. A few batsmen got out to good deliveries and after that Clarke and (Ricky) Ponting batted really well. They built a great partnership," Dhoni said at the post-match presentation.
"It was a good track to bat on. Clarke played brilliantly. He got the pace of the wicket. It was difficult to contain him and he was well supported by Ponting and (Michael) Hussey," he added.
Dhoni said India can win the third Test starting January 13 at Perth.
"Of course, we can win there. It's not about what kind of start we have got, we will look to win in Perth," said Dhoni.
Dhoni said India will come out strong from their six straight losses in away Tests.
"In sport, you are not destined to only win. You'll lose at times. You will face difficult times. That improves you as an individual, and as a skipper. If everything comes easily to you, then you don't really appreciate the kind of hard work that goes into it (winning)," he said.
"This is a phase where I think the team will get stronger. Of course, it won't reflect in the result right now, but overall it will really help us know (recognise) the importance of winning and what needs to be done to keep the winning phase going," he said.
Dhoni blamed the batsmen for the team's second successive loss in Australia but was happy with the performance in the second innings when India scored 400, their highest score in away Tests in the last six months.
"If you see the last two series, including this one in Australia, we didn't score enough. We didn't put enough runs on the board. Of course, to win Tests taking 20 wickets is very important but also we need to give that cushion of extra runs on the board, so that the bowlers can plan the opposition out."
"It is a bit of a worry, but the good thing is we saw the batsmen score runs in the second innings. Of course, it was not good enough to save the Test, but we have seen in the last couple of Tests, everybody has scored at least a fifty. That gives us an indication that we need to convert those [starts] into big innings," he said.
Dhoni also lamented that pace spearhead Zaheer Khan was not getting appropriate support from the other end.
"With more exposure, that's what the bowlers must have learned in the last couple of games. We have looked to attack a bit more with Zaheer because he is our main wicket-taking bowler. We don't want him to look to contain any batsmen as such," he said.
"He (Zaheer) is someone who bowls very well according to the field. It's something that can't go just one way. You can't have four or five slips throughout the Test match. Ultimately, you have to score what the opposition scores too. It's a combination of both. You have to come up with strategies, what works the best."
"It's a balance between getting wickets and what kind of partnership the opposition is getting. If they score very quickly, you may have an attacking field but it will be difficult to get the amount of runs they score," he said.
Dhoni said the team needs to switch off from all the action before focusing on the third Test.
"They (the players) have got a fair amount of exposure to the Australian bowlers in the last two Test matches. What is important is to switch off from the game. You don't really want to overdo it. There may be a few individuals who want to spend a bit more time on the field, but I feel it's always important to switch off from the cricket. That really helps you de-stress a bit, and come back in a positive state of mind."
"I feel that rather than spending more and more time practising, what we need to do is spend some time off the field with some recreational activity and get some time off cricket," he said.