Calcutta: Team India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni sounded confident of levelling the series against South Africa. We are looking forward to bouncing back in the series and doing well, Dhoni told a media conference.
The following are excerpts
There is a bit of grass on the wicket... I think the seamers will get some help. One side of the pavilion is open, so you can see a bit of breeze going across the field... I think there will be a little help for seamers.
Whether home teams should go for wickets of their choice
I think a big emphasis is being given on sporting wickets... Nowhere is it written that there should not be any grass for a sporting wicket or bounce for fast bowlers. Sporting wicket, according to me, is where you challenge the batsmen, and, at the same time, there is something for the batters. I think when there is a turning track, it is challenging. Every country specialises in something... When you go to South Africa you face bouncy wickets and have to deal with seam movement. You go to New Zealand and see a lot of swing. Every country specialises in something, and we are special because the ball turns and there is bounce for the spinners… Of course, skills are required to play spin.
If the Eden wicket will turn
Not on the first day, thats for sure... We have to wait and watch. It looks quite hard. At the same time, we have to see what the wear and tear is like... I dont see much turn happening in the first two days.
If hopeful of levelling series
Thats what we are here for... we are playing against opponents who are really good and performing really well. So it is a tough challenge… They have beaten us comfortably in the last Test.
Dealing with the Nagpur loss
This is what makes life interesting… Its the challenges that make life interesting. We are looking forward to bouncing back in the series. If it was so easy then it would not have been called international cricket. We are trying to level the series here.
What made the difference in Nagpur
One thing really important was the toss. It becomes crucial on that kind of a surface. As the day progresses, the wicket gets slower and slower. The first day was the best day for batters. The pressure really mounted on us after that. They have players who can play spin well. The exposure they have got during the IPL is also helping them a bit.
If the think tank will play three pacers
That is a possibility. We will have to wait till tomorrow… We will have to wait and watch. There are two ways of looking at it. If your batters are not performing and you go with five bowlers, then your batting line-up becomes weak. The best way to look at it is to go in with seven batsmen if you want to score more runs. Generally four bowlers do the job for you. We are always being comfortable with four bowlers. Its a tough call… It would have been easier to have a good all-rounder in your side but we dont really have that luxury.
Gautam Gambhirs form
He has stamped his authority as the No.1 batsman. He has been consistent over a period of time and has climbed up the ladder to become the No. 1 batsman. I think he has done really well for us. Of course we expect him to do well in each and every game but in international cricket thats not always easy.
A test for the middle-order
Everybody is expected to do well, whoever gets a chance. Its a dream come true for everyone to play the longer format. Its challenging… They have done well in domestic circuit. At the same time, we expect them not to get bogged down under pressure. Its important to go out there and give your best shot.
The return of VVS Laxman
Laxman is an important player in our batting line-up. Its good to have him back in the side. He is one of those batsmen who rotates the strike and is capable of getting the boundaries.
The bench strength
We have a good batting line-up, the best batting line-up we have got. Of course, we are missing a few players because of injuries. But this is the best available bench strength… These are the batsmen who replace the top players. Its good that they are getting exposure.