Dhoni expects his spinners to absolutely dominate if the pitches are made to turn more
Even though India have a rather respectable home record in Test cricket, captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni believes that the pitches are not helping his spin attack enough.
Spinners Pragyan Ojha and Ravichandran Ashwin have taken 60 wickets between them in India’s last four Test matches, and Dhoni wants to ensure that the pitches turn more so that his spin attack can continue dominating.
In their recent 2-0 Test series victory over New Zealand, most of the wickets India took came from the spin duo of Ojha and Ashwin, who continuously troubled the New Zealand batsmen with their line, length and spin, which allowed them to pick up early wickets.
Speaking just before the second Test at Bangalore, Dhoni said: “Frankly, we were expecting turning tracks, the last two wickets I don’t see them as turning tracks, this wicket also doesn’t look like a turning track. We have put our request through and after that whatever wickets are provided we’ll have to play on them.”
However, even though Ojha and Ashwin enjoyed a lot of success throughout the Test series against New Zealand, Dhoni wants to ground staff to ensure that the pitches turn even more.
“You know the subcontinental speciality should be spin and I think we should stick to it. In the last match the spinners got lots of wickets but still I thought it was a hard-working wicket for them. Ashwin bowled brilliantly and Ojha had to keep it tight so I felt like if we can get a bit more spin and bit more bounce for the spinners it will be really good,” Dhoni added.
During the 1990s, India saw a lot of success when playing at home thanks to a three spinner strategy, with the most prominent trio being Anil Kumble, Venkatapathy Raju and Rajesh Chauhan.
While India put faith in their spin attack throughout the series, New Zealand continued to use their usual four pace bowlers instead.
I think they have a good bowling side especially on this kind of wicket and in overcast conditions they will come up with a good bowling plan and execute their plans well, Hyderabad was a bit different as there was not much for the pacers, still their fast bowlers got wickets,” Dhoni said when asked how he expects the New Zealand bowlers to fare on the pitch at Bangalore.
Even after thrashing New Zealand 2-0, Dhoni stated that the Indian team will not become overconfident and let the success get to their heads.
“You don’t need to be overconfident, that has never been the case with us, we are a side that respects the opponents whoever we are playing, wherever we are playing,” Dhoni added.