| Mahendra Singh Dhoni, at the Wankhede |
Mumbai: An emphatic win in the first Test notwithstanding, India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni believes that on Friday, when the hosts take the field for the second Test against England, it will be a fresh day and they will have to start from scratch.
Dhoni and his teammates would love to make Virender Sehwag’s 100th Test memorable with a victory, but at the same time he dismissed talks of complacency as he said: “The fact remains that the start of the next Test is always a fresh day… You have to start from scratch. There will be quite a few positives that the English side must have taken out of the last game… They will be coming with a positive mindset.”
Interestingly, Dhoni feels that it wouldn’t be very difficult for the Englishmen to stage a turnaround as T20s have made players strong mentally. “Honestly, I don’t think it is very difficult to get out of a loss nowadays, because the Twenty20 format has taught us to be in the same state of mind irrespective of whether you have lost or won the game,” Dhoni said.
England are almost certain to include Monty Panesar in the playing XI and Dhoni thinks that the spinner will play a crucial role. “If you see the last game, they looked quite balanced in bowling — three seamers, plus Graeme Swann… Plus Samit (Patel), who was doing the part-timer’s job. Monty is a very good left-arm spinner… His role will be crucial.
“It needs to be seen who they leave out... They might be looking to decent all-rounders who can bat,” he added.
The Indians are also well aware that Alastair Cook could prove to be a handful in the conditions. “He is someone who plays spin really well… He made a very good start and treats the ball according to its merit. If it is short, he goes on the back foot. He doesn’t use the feet very often, but still loves to go on the front foot. He is someone who takes a little time. It is a valuable wicket, but I would not term it as the most important wicket. If you look at their batting line-up, I think every wicket is important, especially the last four wickets,” Dhoni said.
The captain said that the Wankhede track would offer more bounce than it was available at Motera and that it would help the fast bowlers from both the sides. “It looks good… As is always the case I would like to review the decision, delaying it for five days.
“At this time of the year, the climate is generally cooler, but it’s still hot out here… It is humid. The fast bowlers will get a bit of swing and as the game progresses, the wicket may become dry. If the ball is maintained well, the fast bowlers may get to reverse it as well,” Dhoni said.