It was a gamble that backfired. But Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni insists that he would still like to have a typical sub-continental wicket in the next two Tests at Kolkata and Nagpur. However, Dhoni felt that India were done in Monty Panesar who had a big impact in this match with his `fast’ left arm spin. “That made the difference in this Test,” said Dhoni at the post-match press conference on Monday.
“Monty bowled well, he was different from all the bowlers. Although all of them were getting a bit of turn and bounce, Monty was bowling at real pace, close to 90-95 kmph. He was able to get some turn also. I think he had a big impact on the game. He put a lot of pressure on the whole batting line-up. He didn’t give us anything to score. If you compare all the bowlers, they also got wickets but they never looked like bothering the batsmen as much as Monty did. So credit goes to him. If you get opponents like this the margin of defeat can be bigger but credit also goes to (Cheteswar) Pujara who batted really well from our side,’’ he said.
Dhoni said the Wankhede was a very good wicket and most of the matches should be played on these types of wicket. “In India or in sub-continent the matches should happen in these kinds of wickets because it takes the toss out of the equation — the ball was turning from the first day itself so that both the teams have equal chances, reducing the impact of toss,” he felt.
He felt there is no point on playing on flat wickets. “What’s the point in playing on flat pitches, trying to win the toss and bat for three or four days over the Test match. I don’t think that’s really a point. If you want to face challenges in Test cricket then these are the sort of tracks that push you to that. Definitely all the wickets should be like this,” he pointed out.
Asked why Indian spinners failed to get the same purchase from the wicket as Panesar and Graeme Swann did, Dhoni said Indians were suited to a particular style of bowling. “You also try to bowl fast but we didn’t get the same kind of purchase out of the wicket as Monty. I felt we could have done slightly better to let them drive a bit better than what we did. If you bowl short on a wicket that has bounce you will get a more time.’’
However, the Indian captain was trifle disappointed with the Indian spinners. “As I said there was more bounce on the wicket, maybe, our (spinners) were slightly on the shorter side. But it doesn’t really mean we were short, the English batsmen played them really well and they were waiting on the backfoot for the ball to turn and were able to play,’’ he said.