India were humbled 0-4 Down Under in 2011-12 series but the Mahendra Singh Dhoni-led team had their revenge by humiliating the Australians by an identical margin. However, Dhoni insisted that it should not be called as a revenge series but he would be more than happy if it will be remembered as a good series win. “There are plenty of individuals who did well, quite a few bowlers, quite a few batsmen. They scored runs in difficult conditions. If you see all four games I lost the toss, which meant we had to bat the fourth innings. We all know it’s difficult when it comes to batting fourth in the subcontinent. It doesn’t matter if you’re playing at home or away,” he said.
The captain admitted that it was a tough period before the Australian series as they had lost against England. “We had a tough time and the fact is that you learn a lot more when you’re going through a rough period. I think individuals learnt a lot from the tough period and we were able to implement the learning in this particular series. At the same time, we were able to build partnerships. That was the key factor for us. We laid a lot of emphasis on partnerships. If you earn the kind of partnerships you are talking about, you’ll get individuals who will score centuries.”
Was there any change in his style of captaincy? “It remains the same. What you have to see is the kind of cricket we play has changed. The concept of aggressive cricket has changed and the captaincy depends on the players and the situation. The era of seeing aggressive cricket where you had to have a mid-on has gone. What you want is, you read the batsmen as to whether he is into the mindset of (rotating singles) even if there’s a mid-on or a deep midwicket and four catching fielders. If he’s not having any problems, then you try to bring in the mid-on or deep midwicket fielder to build up the pressure.”
The change in batting line-up meant that he had to do more of a mentor role. “I had to change a bit, the reason being that the line-up has changed. The bowling line-up is the same, but the batting line-up has changed a lot, which means that you have to tell the youngsters what needs to be done. When you have experienced cricketers in the side, more often than not they know what really went wrong. When it comes to operating on the field nothing much has changed. But also I felt that with this young side it’s important to get them into a system when they do things that are supposed to be done. I may not be there for long. But all these cricketers, will be around for eight to 10 years. So it’s important that they start off with good habits and continue with them, so when the newer generation comes under them, they also just go ahead with the good habits.”