Dhoni hopes team 'gets small things right' in 1st Test
Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni has said that his side would look for a fresh start in the new season after last year's Test debacle by winning the two-match series against New Zealand starting in Hyderabad on Thursday.
India suffered eight successive Test defeats -- four each in England and Australia -- last season but Dhoni sought to dwell on the positives, saying that his side cannot fall any lower.
"Yes, we had a disappointing last eight Test matches (abroad), but if you look at the positive side of it, there is only one way and that's going up," Dhoni said on Wednesday.
"We're expected to win the series and if you talk about starting well it means winning the series, which means looking ahead for the next 15 days. For us, it will be to start the Test match on a positive note," he said.
Dhoni said his side will have to first get into the groove and do the basics right to build the momentum."We have not played a Test match in the last six to seven months, so it will be important to turn up on the field and look to do small things right. So it's important to get into the groove, give a bit more respect to the bowlers."
Image: MS Dhoni
'We are concerned more about the process than the results'
"This is one format where you can afford do to that and we have to do that. By starting well means winning small sessions and if you win majority of them, you win Test matches and get into the next zone. We are looking to do that," said Dhoni.
"We never get desperate because that puts extra burden on the team. As I said we think and prepare well for a game. We are concerned more about the process than the results," he added.
The venue of the first Test, Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium last time saw a batting paradise in a drab draw against the same opposition but Dhoni is banking on the pitch to help the spinners this time.
Dhoni said there's nothing wrong in preparing a wicket that is best suited to the Indian spin-oriented attack.
Image: Dhoni with coach Duncan Fletcher
'Hoping there'll be something for the spinners from this wicket'
"Definitely, there is nothing wrong in that. I've always said that when you go to different parts of the world you expect something different.
"The same way when you come to the sub-continent, it's not like I'm talking about India, it could be Sri Lanka, Pakistan or Bangladesh, you need to have wicket that turn and assist the spinners. That's why they are special," he said."We are hoping there'll be something for the spinners from this wicket. The red soil content is more which means the fast bowlers will get a bit of bounce. But overall it seems, the spinners will get a bit of turn as the game progresses."
Image: R Ashwin
'It's important for us to look into the areas we need to work on'
Dhoni refused to reveal the line-up but said that the entire team is fit.
"I asked the physio and he said apart from him all the players are fit. By him he actually meant himself. All the players are fit and available for selection," said the captain.
In the last series against New Zealand, two seasons ago, India drew two Tests before finally tasting success in the third Test for a 1-0 win. Dhoni said he had happy memories of the series with Harbhajan Singh slamming two consecutive centuries.
"The memories I have of that last series is Harbhajan's two centuries, definitely we will miss him. We were in a position from where we could have lost a Test but Harbhajan stood up with two back-to-back centuries.
"New Zealand are a good side and it's important for us to look into the areas we need to work on. That's what we did in the last ODI series that concluded in Sri Lanka and similarly we look to do same things in Test cricket," Dhoni said.
Image: MS Dhoni