Desperate to bring the Indian team's faltering tour of New Zealand back on track, skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni on Wednesday asked his players to dictate terms by capitalising crucial situations in the two-match Test series starting in Auckland on Thursday.
India were hammered 0-4 in the five-match ODI series which led to the team losing its numero uno ranking in the ICC chart. Dhoni revisited the team's performance in the Test series in South Africa to motivate his squad. "If we consider the last series we played, we had one bad session, two-and-a-half-hours of bad cricket. Compared to the cricket we played throughout the series, that was really good," said Dhoni.
"We have not capitalised when we had crucial situations in the game. That is the only area of concern to some extent. The batsmen batted really well, but just those couple of hours where we did not do well. We have seen in this format, it can have a big impact on the game. "It is important that when we are in a situation where we can command authority or dictate terms, it is very important we go through that phase and keep building on it," he added.
Dhoni said his team has got enough time to put the ODI disappointment behind and be ready for the two-Test series. "We have had just enough time to get back into the groove. We had a practice game also. It is enough time, especially since we played five ODIs here. Most of the team remains unchanged.
"They have already had a look at the wickets, what they will be like, how they will play," he said. New Zealand have laid out a green wicket at the Eden Park for the first Test and coupled with the pace and bounce on offer here, it will be another stern test for the Indian team after their batsmen were bounced out in the ODI series.
"The plus point in Test matches is that you can pick and choose when you want to hit it and when you don't," said Dhoni, replying to a question on short-ball tactics. "At times, the ODIs get dominated by how many runs the opposition have scored and how many you are chasing. We chase more often than not.