Realistic Dhoni not thinking of whitewash yet!
Mahendra Singh Dhoni said batting was identified as a major problem in the England series and the team focussed on getting big scores against Australia, which proved a game changer.
India can finally dream of revenge. It was about a year ago that Australia whitewashed them 4-0. Now they have a chance to subject the men from Down Under to the same humiliation.
The hosts are just a step away from achieving their first ever 4-0 whitewash in Test cricket, and going by the way Australia have struggled in the first three matches, that verdict is certainly possible.
India's captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni, however, is not one who believes in revenge. He points out that it is important to be realistic.
"You have to see the stakes. Everyone wants to win a one million dollar lottery, but it depends on whether you buy a ticket for five dollars or 500, and so it all depends on that."You have to weigh everything. Because what you want is a series win to start off and that is the most crucial thing that you want. It doesn't matter what has happened in the last series," he said, after the six-wicket victory in Mohali on Monday.
Image: MS Dhoni
'You learn from your mistakes'
It's been a remarkable comeback by the Indian team, which faced criticism from all quarters following the 1-2 series defeat against England.
Dhoni said batting was identified as a major problem in the England series and the team focussed on getting big scores against Australia, which proved a big game changer.
"You look at the learnings. You learn from your mistakes, try to better yourself as a side. If you look at England, in that series we did not score runs consistently; it is important to put the runs on board for the bowlers."The pressure of 500-550 runs is a very different kind of pressure. If you observe, in cricket, it's reflective. If you bowl well then your batsmen also start batting well. It's a team sport; you have to do well in all departments," he said.
Image: Indian team walks back to the pavillion
'First session was crucial for us'
He pointed out that his bowlers did not let Australia run away with the match even though their openers put on 139 runs for the opening wicket in the first innings.
"In the first innings it was very tough, especially the first hour. If their batsmen had attacked our bowlers in that time we didn't have many things to do. In the sense, not enough pace at the same time; not enough turn for the spinners.
"I felt that session was very crucial for us. As the game progressed, in the second session there was a slight bit of turn for the spinners and we made the most out of it.
"So, I think, that first session was very crucial the way our bowlers bowled. Though we didn't get any wickets, we brought the momentum to our side and the same thing happened for Australia," he said.
Image: Philip Hughes dabs one towards third man
'Dhawan played his natural game'
He paid rich tributes to opener Shikhar Dhawan, who marked his debut with a cracking century.
"I think he batted really well. What was important for him was to play his natural game. At times what we have seen is... youngsters who play for India ... they try to change their game. I think it's important to play your natural game.
"At times you are a nervous starter, but it's very important to back yourself, because that's the reason why you are here, because of your natural game.
"It was very important for him (Dhawan) and he backed himself to play a few shots and it was nice that when he got to the 50 mark he was determined to make it a big innings. It gave us the momentum that was needed.
"Also, the pace at which both the openers scored... that was important, because we didn't bat the same amount of overs, but got more runs than the Australian team," he said.
Image: Shikhar Dhawan
Bhuvneshwar more useful with new ball
Bhuvneshwar Kumar also made an important contribution with the ball in the second innings, claiming three quick wickets in his first spell.
Asked why he didn't use the young pacer much in the first innings (he got just nine overs), Dhoni clarified: "Bhuvneshwar is not someone who is too quick, but can move the ball.
"So, it's important that we use him with the new ball more. When the ball is skidding on a bit, there is slightly less time for batsman to adjust, and if that's not the case I try to keep him fresh.
"Mostly we bowl 125 overs, which means second new ball is also due. As I said, first day there was not much pace for the fast bowlers and there was not much movement also.
"Generally Bhuvneshwar is someone who swings it, doesn't matter what the condition is he gets the swing, but that was not the case.
"That was the reason we brought the spinners quickly, but in the second innings we saw there was a bit of grass which was growing over a period of time during the Test match and the pace got slightly better so we gave him that new ball."I think it's very important that we use him more with the new ball, especially in the sub-continental conditions and improve his batting at the same time."
Image: Bhuvneshwar Kumar