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Chennai Test: Will dedicate the knock to myself, says MS Dhoni

Wednesday, 27 February 2013 - 9:30am IST | Place: Mumbai | Agency: DNA
On Tuesday, MoM Dhoni equalled Ganguly's record of leading India to 21 Test wins. Excerpts from the skipper's interaction with the media.

On whether his outlook had changed...
Nothing has changed. Your speciality (spin bowling) remains your speciality. Nothing has changed.

On whether Pragyan Ojha will get a look-in for the next Test in Hyderabad...
You have to see the opposition line-up. There were a lot of left-handers and we assumed that the wicket would turn. It’s said that the away-going spinner is quite difficult to play. Still, we had someone like (Ravindra) Jadeja, who can bowl long spells and, at the same time, be conservative by bowling a really tight line. That’s why we chose to go in with two off-spinners and one left-arm spinner.

On the difference between his 99 in Nagpur and double hundred in Chennai...
What really matters is the job I’m trying to do. The best thing I’ve done so far is to not watch news channels or read newspapers. It’s really helped, frankly. The demands (in Nagpur and here) were very different. Here, the game was evenly poised when I walked in and Nathan Lyon was bowling well. So, it was important to play a few big shots at that time so that you could get rid of that extra catching fielder from near you. It’s very humid in Chennai, so it helps in getting the opposition bowlers tired.

On whether this sort of a bowling attack — three spinners and two pacers — is a short-term plan...
You have to see the conditions. In India, it can be a long-term plan. But once you go abroad, you need good fast bowlers. As of now, with three more Tests to play, this looks like a very settled bowling and batting line-up. Yes, Jadeja would have to improve slightly when it comes to his batting but, at least, he has the talent.

On the pitch...
Yes, this wicket was looking ugly. When you went in to bat, you saw so many rough patches; you feared that it would do much. But once you got used to the pace and bounce of the wicket, then it became slightly easy to bat on.

On picking four spinners and the openers’ form
Four or five (spinners) can be an option, but you have to be sure the wicket will turn. On the very first day, most of us assumed it would be a turning track. But we saw it was a decent wicket. Yes, there was a bit of spin, but overall it was quite a good wicket. That’s why you have to be prepared (by picking two pacers). Also, Bhuvneshwar (Kumar) is someone who can bat a bit. We all know the importance of batting deep because it really frustrates the opposition. I think we went in with the right combination.

Vijay has played this game, let’s continue with him and give him some time and make him feel he’s wanted in the side. About Viru pa, well, that’s how he bats. I’ve said this plenty of times before, when he scores runs, he looks a fantastic player. When he doesn’t score runs, you can question the shot he played or the way he played.

On his position at No 6...
Till Jadeja plays, I have got to bat at No 6. Let him get comfortable, let him get used to Test cricket. If he starts to do really well, we’ll think about it later.

On whether he would want to dedicate his knock to someone...
I’ll dedicate it to myself.

On Ashwin...
Yes, he bowled really well. We all need to respect the fact that he’s someone who’s got a lot of variations and that’s his strength. Often, when you go through a lean period, people say that he’s not consistent with his off-spin, that he should just bowl his off-spin. Other bowlers don’t have a lot of variety but they keep bowling and get wickets.

But if you look at it from his point of view, it’s very difficult because he knows he can bowl those variations. It was important for him to come back and I’m glad that, in this particular Test, he bowled a very good length and was very consistent.




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