Mahendra Singh Dhoni was in good spirits as he entered the media room for the post-match press conference. India was now at the acme in Test rankings. And Dhoni had now won seven of his ten Tests as India captain. He is yet to lose a Test as skipper.
“It feels great. It has been a complete team effort. Playing well is a constant process. Our preparation and execution of our plans have been good. We have a very strong batting line-up and the bowlers have been doing their job. We have done well in all conditions. Importantly, the core group has remained the same. We have not had too many injuries and have played with the same team for most part,” the Indian captain said.
He conceded India, apart from the series in Bangladesh, was not playing too much Test cricket over the next six months. “That is not in our hands. But whenever we play Test cricket, we want to do it well. I believe in small steps for the bigger goal.”
With India slated to figure in only a handful of Tests next year, Dhoni conceded that South Africa or Australia could overtake India. He added, “But we want to enjoy the moment, not think too far ahead. This is a great moment for Indian cricket.”
On what India should do to maintain its current ranking, he said, “Play more Test cricket.” Dhoni felt the tough competition for places in the Indian team had lifted the standards. “The tougher it is for the new guy to come in, the better it is for him and us. Our bench strength is good now and this is important,” he said.
The Indian captain said sharing the same dressing room with the experienced players was a great experience.
He complimented his team for fighting back after losing the toss here. “Zaheer Khan bowled extremely well here. There was some assistance for the pacemen and the spinners in the morning on all the days.” Dhoni called Virender Sehwag a one-of-a-kind batsman and said Gary Kirsten was a fantastic coach.
The Indian captain felt the Umpire Decision Review System (UDRS) was not foolproof.
Implement UDRS for all series: Sangakkara
Sri Lankan captain Kumar Sangakkara said the UDRS should be implemented for all series. “When the ICC has said the review system should be implemented for all series, I do not know why it was not implemented for this series. It was a handicap for us,” he said.
Sri Lanka received a few rough umpiring decisions in the Test and Sangakkara said, “The absence of the review system cost us around 500 runs and a lot of wickets.”
He, however, said India was the better side. “We were out-batted and out-bowled, mainly out-bowled.” Sangakkara said his spinners could not build pressure. “They did not send down too many maiden overs.” The pacemen created chances but the opportunities were not cashed in by Sri Lanka, he added.
The Sri Lankan called Dhoni a good leader but said the Indian had some distance to travel yet as a Test cricketer.
On India getting to the World No 1 spot in Tests, he said, “The way India has played in this series, it probably deserves to be there.”