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Tuesday , September 4 , 2012
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Really pleased with the spinners’ effort: Dhoni

Bangalore: Mahendra Singh Dhoni was pleased with the team’s performance after their five-wicket win on Monday.

Speaking at the media conference, he lauded the efforts of the two youngsters, Virat Kohli and Cheteshwar Pujara. He was also effusive in his praise of spinners Pragyan Ojha and Ravichandran Ashwin.

The following are excerpts

The positives…

It was a well-fought series and I’m happy with the team’s performance. I think we would like to test ourselves on turning tracks that we could not do in the series. I’m really pleased with the spinners’ effort on the tracks that really didn’t help them much… In this match, they were brilliant in the first innings. Fast bowlers have to chip in a bit though there were very little on offer for them in both the matches.

Finding the right team combination ahead of the Test series against England and Australia

I think these are the individuals who will be featuring in the Test matches. We have to fight the war with these men… We have to put in a lot of time and effort on these players. I’m confident that they will perform when time comes…

Plans of reshuffling the top-order…

I don’t see any reshuffling at the moment. It’s been quite sometime that we played a Test series. So, they were a bit rusty.

Gautam Gambhir’s off-form

Today, he batted really well but could not convert the start. He is doing well in the nets. So, we’re hoping that he will come good...

Sachin Tendulkar’s form…

The good thing is that whenever people talk about his form, he comes up with a brilliant performance. I’m waiting for that. I’m not worried...

Cheteshwar Pujara and Virat Kohli’s performance

It’s pleasing to see the youngsters perform. See, we will always miss Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman. I feel the boys, who are coming in, are not replacing anyone. They are coming in with their own character and it was nice to see them perform. Virat was amazing in this match. In both the innings, we needed someone to soak up the pressure. He did that. Pujara was good in this innings as well as in the last Test.

Suresh Raina’s temperament

There are two ways of handling pressure — one is to go and play your shots while the other is to soak in the pressure. Individuals react differently to these situations. In the first innings, when he went out and played his shots, he could’ve nicked one. But people said that it was excellent batting… He tried the same thing this time, too. Unfortunately, it didn’t come off. I’m sure that he will learn from his experience.

If he was changing his approach batting at No. 7…

Not really. Whenever the ball is in my area, I look to hit it. I’m not really curbing my instincts but I want to improve as a cricketer. That’s my plan as of now.

The spinners’ performance

The good thing is that both the spinners complement each other. When one is taking wickets, the other one keeps it tight. They are hunting well together.

Ravichandran Ashwin developing as a strike bowler…

The wickets were good to bat on… Under the circumstances, I felt Ashwin bowled brilliantly.

On giving chance to other players, especially at No. 6

We need to see how it goes before giving others opportunities… But we need to back individuals at first. That’s how you groom cricketers. It’s also important to have the mix. It’s important to have a left-hander at six or seven... Then it’s useful if you have a left-hander at No.6...