Indian captain M.S. Dhoni praised spinner R. Ashwin and Pragyan Ojha for earning rewards on pitches which do not offer much turn, adding that the fast bowlers were not quite up to the mark.
“We would like to see ourselves playing on turning tracks, we have not really seen that in this series. Yet, the spinners bowled brilliantly in Hyderabad and Bangalore,” Dhoni said, after his team competed a 2-0 series victory against New Zealand with a win in the second Test in Bangalore on Monday.
“The fast bowlers have to chip in a bit, they bowled quite well considering there was not much for them (in the pitch),” he said.
The skipper made it clear that young batsmen like Virat Kohli and Cheteshwar Pujara cannot be considered as replacements for retired stalwarts Rahul Dravid and V.V.S. Laxman.
“You will always miss Laxman and Dravid. I feel the boys who are coming in are not replacing anyone. They are coming in with their own character, and it was nice to see them perform.
“Virat played brilliantly, especially in this Test, because we needed someone to soak up the pressure. Pujara was good in this innings and in the last Test as well. It is a continuous learning process, and they are shaping up well. It is a big positive for us,” Dhoni said.
The skipper added that man-of-the-series R. Ashwin and spinner partner Pragyan Ojha work well in tandem. “Ashwin is bowling brilliantly. Overall, the wickets were quite good to bat on, and we had to bowl consistently in one area.
“I felt that sometimes this made it difficult for Ashwin, because he is someone who loves to take wickets.
“Both the spinners complement each other. When one is taking wickets, the other one keeps it tight so that the batsmen are not taking too many runs off them,” he said.
Rival captain Ross Taylor spoke highly of the fighting spirit his team showed in this Test after a crushing defeat in the first Test at Hyderabad.
“We wanted to show some fight and courage. I thought the effort from the team was outstanding in this match, but obviously still disappointed with the loss. It hurts, but I’m proud of the team.”
Asked to explain where his team faltered in this test, Taylor replied: “There were a lot of moments during the game.
“If we’re brutally honest, we would have liked to score a few more runs in that first innings to put pressure on India. We’d like to have restricted them to a few less. We lost the Test match over time.”