Southampton, Jul 31: India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni feels that if the batsmen fritter away starts in the remaining two Test matches, it could be a bit of a concern for the visitors. On a track where England piled up 569 for seven, India scored 330 and 178 in their two innings.
“It will become a bit of concern once it becomes repetitive. Let’s hope that it doesn’t become a habit,” Dhoni told the mediapersons when asked about some of the batsmen throwing away their wickets after getting a start. “But the good thing is that the batsmen are getting good starts, and hopefully they will convert those starts into big innings. Getting start is more difficult that converting starts. Hopefully, they will come back strong,” the skipper said.
Dhoni also admitted that his batsmen didn’t play off-spiner Moeen Ali that well. “We weren’t expecting them to win but that’s what international cricket is all about. We knew they will come back strongly at us, and for us also it was a new challenge is to keep the momentum going after the Lord’s win,” said Dhoni, lamenting his side’s failure to bat well on a placid track.
“Our batsmen played the fast bowlers better but we allowed Moeen (Ali) to bowl his line and length. There was considerable amount of wear and tear on the pitch that went his way, and there were a lot of close-in fielders too. I just felt that we could have been a bit more positive against him,” he added.
The series is now pegged at 1-1 with two matches to go. India’s problems have been compounded by Dhoni’s revelation that Ishant Sharma perhaps won’t be fit for the fourth Test in Manchester starting August 7. “We have got our own concern and our own strengths. What I am looking at is a perfect, tough series. The first Test was a draw and then we won the second and England won here.
“Now, we have two more Tests to go. We have not played a five-match series, but England have. So it will be a test of character for all of us and our fitness as well,” Dhoni signed off.