India won the match comfortably, alright. But, captain MS Dhoni was not happy with the pitch and wished for tracks that will start turning from the first day of the Test match.
“Hopefully in the coming matches, we will see the wicket turn right from start, or as soon as possible,” Dhoni said. “There wasn’t enough turn and bounce for the spinners in Motera. Our fast bowlers bowled really well. They gave us the breakthrough when it was really needed. When we chased 77, there was nothing for the spinners and it became slightly better to bat against the pacers.”
Justifying his statement of having pitches that will assist spinners from the first day, Dhoni felt the toss played a vital role on surfaces like Motera. “What you don’t want is ridges in the wicket and then one ball hits your head and next your toe. The only way to take the toss out of the equation is to have pitches that turn right from the start. The game may end in three-and-a-half days, but both teams will have an equal opportunity to win the game,” he said.
Dhoni also said that the ICC match referees cannot question turning tracks. “I don’t think the match referee can question a pitch just because it’s turning. When the wicket seams right from the first delivery nobody asks questions,” he said.
On Man-of-the-Match Cheteshwar Pujara, Dhoni called him a team man who understood his responsibility very well. “He knows his role. He accepts responsibility, which is very important. After scoring 200-odd runs, he was not shy to stand at short-leg. It would have been easy for him to say he was not feeling 100% to stand at short-leg, but he was there. He just needs to keep doing the things he’s doing,” said Dhoni.
He also praised Yuvraj Singh, who scored 74 on his return to Test cricket after battling cancer. “He looks very good. He batted really well. Those 70-odd runs were vital. In the first innings, he was not bowling in the areas where he should be but in the second innings he was quite impressive,” he said.