London: Just when India arrived for nets ahead of the fifth Test at The Oval yesterday, it began to pour, forcing MS Dhoni & Co to practice indoors.
Team India in a huddle during the third Test at Southampton last month. Pic/Getty Images
India are desperate to save the series — they trail 1-2 after back-to-back losses at Southampton and Manchester — and skipper MS Dhoni hopes the team has learnt from its mistakes. In the previous game, they surrendered meekly, losing nine wickets in one session on the third day.
Dhoni said yesterday: "We have spoken about it (the collapse at Old Trafford). We have addressed that and it was not just that game.
In the games before that also, we lost some wickets in a very short span of time. It is not really about addressing it but more about soaking it up, learning from the last game and making sure we don't repeat those mistakes."
Skipper defends his day off
Meanwhile, Dhoni who chose to skip the nets on Wednesday, defended his decision saying: "It was personal. I felt like taking a day off, and took one. Three days before that, I was with the team and we had enough team-building activities. So that one day off doesn't make much of a difference."
India will be playing five bowlers in the game, but curiously Dhoni was evasive about Ishant Sharma's inclusion in the XI. Things became clear only after an hour when the team management issued a statement saying the paceman would be featuring in the side.
Asked whether starting the game on Independence Day was an additional source of inspiration, Dhoni said: "When you are representing your country, it is motivation enough. It doesn't have to be the Independence or Republic Day.
"It is a big and important day for us (the country). At the same time, we want to be thinking about the Test match more than anything else."