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MS: Look at the positives

Mahendra Singh Dhoni in Chennai on Friday. (PTI)

Chennai: The under-fire Indian Test team has got the backing of former captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who said there were quite a few positives to pick despite the series loss in South Africa.

Virat Kohli's India are trailing 0-2 in the three-match series after heavy losses in Cape Town and Centurion. The third and final Test is scheduled in Johannesburg from January 24.

"I would say look at the positives. To win a Test match you need 20 wickets and we have taken 20 wickets. If you can't take 20 wickets, what is the next thing? You look to draw a Test match," Dhoni, who has retired from Tests but continues to be a part of India's limited-overs teams, said at a press conference here.

"How you can draw a Test match is by giving less runs and by scoring runs," he said at a promotional.

"If you are not able to get 20 wickets, you can't win a Test match irrespective of whether you are playing in India or you are playing outside. But that is the big positive. We are taking 20 wickets," he said.

"This means we are always in a position to win a Test match. Once you start scoring runs, you are there," he added.

Dhoni, who led the Chennai Super Kings in the first eight editions of the IPL before it was suspended in the wake of the 2013 spot-fixing scam, said he was happy to be back with the franchise.

"I never thought of playing for any other franchise other than CSK. Chennai is my second home. Fans here have adopted me as one of their own," Dhoni said.

"A lot of people approached me, I can tell you that. But I can't think of not coming back to CSK. What we have been through, how we have conducted ourselves, how the management has been. How the fans have been. This is a special place. So that thought of being in any other franchise was never a question," he said.

Apart from Dhoni, CSK also retained Suresh Raina and Ravindra Jadeja.

Dhoni said the franchise would be aiming to get Ravichandran Ashwin back in their fold in the upcoming IPL players' auction.

Ashwin is back in the auction pool. The players' auction is scheduled on January 27 and 28 in Bangalore.

"As I have said it is always a tough call. With Ashwin, you know we had done the same thing in the past. We will definitely go for him in the auction. Ashwin definitely being a local lad, we want a lot of local players to be part of CSK," Dhoni said.

"We have two right-to-match options but having already retained three capped Indians, don't think we can use it. We will have to buy him out in the auction. As of now, it is tough to say, we will get him or him or him... Ashwin will come first in the auction for us. But we will have to wait and watch. We will try to get him," he remarked.

He also stressed on the adaptability factor at the auction and said they would have to keep the emotions in check while picking the squad.

"We have made three retentions. One keeper, two batsmen. Two batsmen that can bowl. As of now it is very difficult to say whom we will get. That is the adaptability factor that we need at the auction table and we need to keep emotions in check," he said.

He also thanked the fans for their support and praised the franchise's management.

"Our biggest strength has always been the fans. All over wherever we have gone, CSK has got support. Even when we did not play in the IPL in the last two years, the fan base increased.

"There is a lot of excitement among fans about the fact that CSK is back. The fans over here have literally adopted me, they accept me as their own. I am touched by the admiration and ovation I receive from CSK fans, which will always remain close to my heart," Dhoni said.

Dhoni said the focus at CSK was always on cricket and making sure the players did well in the opportunities they got.

"We have always made sure that players who have played for CSK, even those who came from other franchises, for whatever reason, have performed well." 

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