CRICKET Dhoni: We’re looking to start in positive mode
India captain hopes young guns can fill the void created by Laxman and Dravid’s retirement
Hyderabad: Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni said the team was looking to start in a positive mode the two-match Test series against New Zealand, which begins here on Thursday at the Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium, Uppal.
“We have not played a Test for six to seven months. So, it is important to get into the groove. We look to get our basics right,” Dhoni said.
The captain said the team would focus on winning the small areas.
“If you are bowling, you need to take wickets in the initial overs. If you are batting, you have to respect the bowlers because in this format of the game you have to do it. If you win majority of these sections, you win the Test.”
The Indian skipper said the team was more concerned about the process than the result.
“We don’t want to get extra burden,” he remarked.
Dhoni said the team would miss Rahul Dravid and also V.V.S. Laxman, who announced his retirement last week despite being selected for the series. He said youngsters had good opportunity to cement their place.
“We are hoping we don’t miss them,” Dhoni said when asked whether the team would feel the absence of Dravid and Laxman in the fielding at slips.
He pointed out that the team had likes of Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag, Virat Kohli and Gautam Gambhir besides the young players. “They will get the experience when they play.”
To another query, Dhoni said the team was trying to focus on the areas where they had to work.
“The team tried to do this during the ODI series in Sri Lanka. It is important for us to focus on those areas.”
Asked about the memories of last series against the same side in 2010, Dhoni said the team would miss Harbhajan Singh, who hit two back-to-back centuries. “We could have lost one of the matches but Harbhajan stood up and scored a brilliant hundred.”
When asked who between Pujara and Badrinath would replace Laxman, Dhoni said the playing eleven would be decided before the match.
Dhoni said all the players were fit and were available for selection to the playing eleven.