Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni on Saturday said that finishing games at first opportunity will be crucial for his side against a strong team like England during the upcoming five-match Test series beginning July 9 at Trent Bridge, Nottingham.
"2011 series in England and Australia was very disappointing series for us but when we went to South Africa and New Zealand we were not really able to close the games. It was a good effort by our bowlers but we were denied by some fantastic batting from opposition. When we come to 50-50 situation we should capitalise on that," said Dhoni at the pre-departure press conference in Mumbai on Saturday.
He was referring to the first game against South Africa at Johannesburg and the second and last match of the series against New Zealand at Wellington later on. The 18-member Indian squad is set to depart for England in the early hours on Sunday.
Dhoni said that he has decided to play his normal attacking game irrespective of the situation India will find itself as the playing eleven will have seven batsmen. He said he wants to back his instincts and go for his shots.
"As far as my batting is concerned, I need to be far more aggressive. When I am aggressive, I am far better than when I try to play like a proper batsman. I intend to go for my shots from the first ball.
"I have to back my instincts. Six to seven batsman when you play, it is very important to back my strength and not think too much about the situation. It is very important that I back my strength and play aggressive strokes and score runs rather than taking my time out," he said.
Dhoni said it was good that the team was reaching England early which will help the players adjust to the conditions before the two practice games and get into the groove for the five-match Test series which India would be playing in England after five decades.
"For quite a few players it's a first tour to England but have had exposure in South Africa and New Zealand and have a few games behind them. It's good we are going early so that we can get into the groove. It's a long series and not very usual to play 5-Test match series. Overall, it's looking good. We have got enough time to prepare," he said.