There’s always frankness in M.S. Dhoni’s reactions to issues. When asked for his response to the negative observations following his categorical demand that pitches for the current series should help spinners right from the first over, he said: “How should it be then?

“I was just trying to take the toss out of the equation. I was doing the good part. Different people have different opinions. People talk about different challenges. You have seen the ball swing in New Zealand and England and bounce in Australia. South Africa has different kind of wickets. Maybe that’s the reason they don’t want the ball to turn.’’

Not giving the impression that his team was complacent he said it would be a fresh start from Friday.


On this likely to be Tendulkar last match at the Wankhede: When it comes to Sachin, the best thing to do is not to speculate. He may come back and play a few more Tests. Let’s wait and watch and enjoy the kind of cricket he plays.

Three-spinner option: Not really. We are looking for a two-two combination. It gives more balance to the side. We don’t know whether we are going to bat or bowl first. Generally, here it’s quite good to bat first, and if the ball is not stopping, the spinners may find it difficult to restrict the batsmen.

England with Panesar: They looked quite balanced in the first Test. Monty is a very good left-arm spinner. He may get a bit of turn and bounce. His role will be crucial, but it has to be seen who England leaves out from the playing XI.

England comeback: Often a lot is said about how a team finds it difficult to come back. The fact remains that the start of the second Test is always a fresh day and one has to start from scratch.

The English team will take quite a few positives from the last game. Nowadays it’s not difficult to get out of a loss. The Twenty20 format has really taught us to be in the same state of mind irrespective of having lost or won the first game.

The pitch: It looks good. As is always the case, I would like to review delaying it by five days. If it does not turn I can come back and criticise once again, but it looks like a good wicket to start with. At this time of the year it is generally cooler, but it’s still hot out there in the middle. The fast bowlers will get a bit of swing and as the game progresses, the wicket may become dry. If the ball is maintained well, the fast bowlers may get to reverse it. This wicket affords bounce as compared to other wickets (in India).

On Alastair Cook: He’s someone who plays spin really well. When a team gets a good stand from the top order or No. 3 and 4, the bowlers tend to get tired. He plays the ball according to merit.

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