Cricket

No place for negative thoughts, says Dhoni

WHAT WENT WRONG? India captain M.S. Dhoni has a lot on his mind after losing the third Test to England. Photo: AP

WHAT WENT WRONG? India captain M.S. Dhoni has a lot on his mind after losing the third Test to England. Photo: AP   | Photo Credit: Tim Hales

M.S. Dhoni, who lost his first Test series as India captain, conceded his team had been outplayed in all departments, but stressed the importance of not giving in to negative, self-defeating thoughts in the aftermath.

“Our batting just didn't click, we haven't put enough runs on the board,” he said after the conclusion of the third Test in Edgbaston, a day ahead of schedule.

“I can't really pinpoint the reasons why we didn't bat well. If it was that easy, we would have corrected it. The pressure kept mounting, and England played very well. We had to be at our best to defeat them. We needed all departments to click together. But we never managed it.”

Part of life

Addressing his first series defeat, Dhoni said, “You can't play at this level for three years and win every time. In a team sport, everybody needs to play well or more often than not you'll end up losing. It's only once in 10 or 15 series that individual brilliance can save (the day). But losing is a big part of life. It's what makes life interesting.”

The India captain said it was vital for India to enjoy the fourth Test, treating it as a one-match series. “Things like this have happened to the Indian team in the past. I know it becomes difficult but you have to enjoy the game. You shouldn't think too critically or think too much about technique.

“Of course you need to make certain technical adjustments, but it's important to be yourself and slightly tune your game to the conditions, like Formula One cars are tuned to various tracks.”

Dhoni refused to comment on India's lack of preparation before the Test series, saying he didn't wish to create a controversy.

Asked about his feelings after losing the No. 1 spot, he said: “We don't think about it too much, we know that when we do the small things well, the rankings will take care of themselves. It's not something you own; it's something you earn. It's a constant process.”

Andrew Strauss, the English captain, was understandably delighted with his team's performance in the Test and the series.

“The wickets have been shared around the bowlers and the pressure they have applied has been relentless, I don't think there are many better in the world right now,” said Strauss.

“It was fantastic to get runs myself and then sit on the sofa and watch Cookie (Alastair Cook) bat for two days.

“He has amazing concentration and determination, he's in this patch at the moment where he's very clear what his game is and he's an example for us all.

“Getting to No. 1 has been a goal for a long time and it fills me with a lot of pride to know we have completed something very special.

“We have had to work very had and the guys have put a lot of hard graft to get to No. 1.”

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Printable version | Feb 21, 2020 3:26:45 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/cricket/no-place-for-negative-thoughts-says-dhoni/article2354521.ece

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