Unfazed by criticism over his demand for turners in the four-Test series against England, India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni today clarified that he had asked for tracks that turn from the very first day only because he wanted to keep the toss out of the equation.
"How should it be then? I was just trying to take the toss out of the equation...I was doing the good part," said Dhoni on the eve of the India-England second start here.
"Different people have different opinions. People talk about different challenges. You have seen the ball swinging in New Zealand and England and bouncing in Australia. South Africa has different kind of wickets. May be that's the reason they don't want the ball to turn," he added. Dhoni, after winning the first Test against England at Ahmedabad, expressed his displeasure at the Motera wicket and said that "We wanted the curators to prepare the pitches that will turn from day one."
The captain, however, said that the Wankhede Stadium track, which is prepared for the second Test, would offer some more bounce and help the fast bowlers from both sides. "It looks good. As is always the case I would like to review decision delaying it after five days. It does not turn I can come and criticise once again, but it looks like a good wicket to start with.
"This time of the year the climate is generally cooler, but it's still hot out here. It is humid. The fast bowlers will get a bit of swing and as the game progresses, the wicket may become dry. If the ball is maintained well, the fast bowlers may get to reverse it," said Dhoni.
"This wicket has bounce as compared to the other wickets (In India). Their (pace bowlers) roles will be crucial." Dhoni said in Ahmedabad Test the fast bowling duo of Zaheer Khan and Umesh Yadav, who is set to miss the second match because of a sore back, played an important role. "At Motera it was the fast bowlers who gave the important breakthroughs after which we were able to put pressure," he said.
India had created history in April 2011 by clinching the World Cup here at this venue but Dhoni said that his team wasn't thinking too much about the past.
"About the feel good factor at the Wankhede, we are not thinking too much into the past and too much into the future. We all know England are very good and we would like to focus on this match. We hope that the wicket won't change much," said Dhoni. Asked about the likelihood of England going in with Monty Panesar, who was surprisingly omitted in Ahmedabad, Dhoni said while he was a fine left-arm spinner but including him would weaken the visitors' batting.
"They looked quite balanced in the first Test. Monty is a very good left arm spinner. He may get a bit of more turn and bounce here. His role will be crucial, but it has to be seen who England leaves out from the XI."
Dhoni insisted that contrary to some views, England, who are 0-1 down in the series, can bounce back. "Often a lot is said about how a team finds it difficult to come back. The fact remains that the start one has to start from the scratch on a fresh day. The English team will take quite a few positives from the last game. Nowadays it's not difficult to get out of a loss.
"The Twenty20 format has really taught us to be in the same state of mind irrespective of the fact of having lost or won the first game." Dhoni refused to speculate whether this match could be the last Test of Sachin Tendulkar on his home ground as he is approaching 40 and the next Test may not be held here for some considerable amount of time.
"When it comes to Sachin, the best thing to do is not to speculate. He may come back and play a few more Test matches. Let's wait and watch and enjoy the kind of cricket he plays," said Dhoni.
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