Eng v Ind, 1st Investec Test, Trent Bridge, 5th day July 13, 2014

Dhoni pleased with lower-order resistance


This is the third overseas Test India have failed to close out, out of their last five. This wasn't as clear-cut an opportunity as Johannesburg and Wellington were, but the disappointments are piling up. Before the series began, Ajit Agarkar questioned India's ability to close out Tests away from home; many an Indian fan shares that doubt. However, MS Dhoni, not for the first time, chose to look at the positives, that the team at least got into a position from which they could force a result.

When asked if it was a big disappointment that from a winning position on day three, India went on to rely on Nos 7 and 8 to save the match, Dhoni said: "That's a part and parcel of the game, and it doesn't really matter who has scored runs or taken wickets because at the end of the day it is a team game and you go with the strategy of winning the game. It doesn't really matter if No. 11 is scoring the runs or No. 7 is scoring the runs. Overall, it is important that we have put runs on the board, and we need to defend that. But plenty of positives we can take out of this game."

One of the positives was the partnership between Ravindra Jadeja and Stuart Binny when India were just 145 ahead with four wickets in hand and two-and-a-half sessions to go. "That was a very important partnership looking at the game because we were not really safe at that time," Dhoni said. "We had at least half a day's play or more at that stage. Had it not been for that partnership we could have struggled to defend the amount of runs we had scored at that stage. That partnership was much needed.

"The other good thing about that partnership is that not many of our players have the experience of batting under pressure and save a Test match if the need arises. Games like this really gives them the exposure and teaches them what really needed to be done. I feel it is nice that some individuals stood up when the pressure was put on us."

Binny was part of an experiment that meant India were playing only five batsmen outside Asia for the first time under Dhoni's captaincy. He wasn't quick at judging how the move went, although he said the only change he felt with batting at No. 6 was that he had to change into his whites earlier than usual.

"The wicket was not suiting Stuart Binny's kind of bowling," Dhoni said. "Jadeja could use the rough on the wicket, so I was not really forced to give too many overs to Binny. So, overall I though it helped me to keep the bowlers fresh. Though Stuart bowled only 10 overs, I felt it was a good effort from his side. As the series progresses, we will watch him as he is someone who can swing the ball well, and can give rest to the other bowlers, and he will be more effective on pitches that offer some assistance to the bowlers."

The pitch was a soul-sapping patch, which annoyed the hosts no end because of its likeness to Indian surfaces, but Dhoni wasn't happy with it either. "I always said that when you come to a country you want to play on wicket that's the specialty of that country," Dhoni said. "You know, there's no fun in going to India and expecting flat wickets where people can score 200 or 250 runs. But it's very good if you score a hundred on a turning track. When you come out of India, you would like the wicket to be slightly quicker."

Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on July 15, 2014, 16:50 GMT

    My Team for Second Test: 1. Vijay 2. Gambir/Dhawan 3. Pujara 4. Kohli 5. Rahane 6. Ashwin 7. Dhoni 8. Binny/Jadeja 9. Bhuvi 10. Shami 11. Ishant.

  • Krishna on July 15, 2014, 10:03 GMT

    Dhöni is wrost batsman than tailanders in oveseas.shami foot work more batter. My team for 2nd test. Vijay,saha,pujara,kohli, rahane,ashwin,binny, bhuvi,dhoni,ishant, shami. Some one need pandey/pankaj over shami but we need revese swing bowler. And ishwin also not effected against this english line up.

  • Android on July 14, 2014, 13:30 GMT

    Its really baffling to see india does not possess a bowler who could polish off the tail, remember kumble doing the job efficiently and even zaheer for some time. dhawan tries to portray a swagger in his batting approach which unfortunately is not clicking,binny has excellent temperament but in all fairness i dont see him troubling english batsman a lot even in favourable seam conditions and about jadeja i thought he was a misfit at d start itself since england have so many lefthanders.Ashwin has better technique and temperament in test cricket i think jaddu is much better off in shorter formats, so bring ashwin in i guess go dhawan another go which may be his last on the tour provided he fails ,also we want to see lively tracks for upcoming tests, just like in OZ, SAF,NZ which makes for interesting viewing rather than these dull boring games in which the player,s feat is also not remembered for long.

  • Dummy4 on July 14, 2014, 11:18 GMT

    Team India for Second Test: 1. Vijay 2. Ashwin 3. Pujara 4. Kohli 5. Rahane 6. Rohit 7. Dhoni 8. Binny 9. Bhuvi 10. Shami 11. Ishant. Drop Shikar and Jadeja for next test. Ashwin can handle that opening slot.

  • Dummy4 on July 14, 2014, 10:52 GMT

    The problem with Dhoni is the lack of understanding the game of test cricket. His approach has always been defensive. Take Anderson's wicket for instace. His used the short ball approach consistently. From the field setting it was obvious for Anderson to understand the tactics. Recurrent but "surprise" short balls might have worked. Or surprise yorkers for that matter. We did not hit accurate yorkers even when Anderson was on backfoot expecting slurry of short balls. The slowness of pitch itself made the tactic ineffective. I am also baffled with his insistence on Ashwin and Jadeja as primary spinners overseas. They are clearly ineffective. Look beyond them or play four front line seamers. And for christ sake Dhawan is no Sehwag. The earlier he understands this the better.

  • avaneesh on July 14, 2014, 9:51 GMT

    For me Dhawan is no good at opening slot. He just does not have proper technique or foot work to open an innings in a test match. 2nd most important concern is Rahane. He has all the techniques to be a good batsman at the top order. But some how time and again he is unable to convert opportunities into success. He needs to score big. Binny did what he normally does for his Karnataka team. Though he may not perform most of the times, but at crucial situations he applies himself and saves his team like he batted in the 2nd innings. He should be retained in the team as an all-rounder for rest of the test series. England played fairly well when compared to their recent previous performances against other touring teams. They are definitely looking forward to come to winning mode in this series. So watch out India!

  • karthik on July 14, 2014, 9:04 GMT

    I am convinced with our youngsters effort. I believe it will take another 10 away test matches and cost them 2015 WC because of their inexperience. But they are going to the NO 1 side in all formats after 2015.

  • Dhiraj on July 14, 2014, 8:54 GMT

    Good that Binny batted well or he might have been dropped from the next test. Jadeja (canyt bat, not a good bowler either) needs to be dropped and Ashwin (although Ashwin isnt that good a bowler, but no other option) needs to be brought in. Also Dhawans inconsistency needs to be considered. He is still in the team on the reputation of his debut innings only, it seems.

  • Abey on July 14, 2014, 8:21 GMT

    I think we need to really have a better bowling line up for Lords Test. Bhuvi and Ishant are automatic choices. Shami looked good with his pace, but is not being able to swing the ball. May be Ishwar Pandey could provide both swing and pace or else Pankaj. Binny by virtue of his 78 and his patience should find his place in playing X1. Jadeja needs to be shown the door and Ashwin has to be back, provided Ashwin has ability to built patnership. Jadeja just seems like he is playing a limited over match, going after every balls. If the pitch offers little spin and turn, then Jadega should be in for Shami. Feels so that slow medium pace of Binny would be effective in Lords than the fast bowling of Shami. But Ashwin should be the focal point as far as spinning department is concerned. Batting think Dhawan should be dropped and Gambhir to be in. But there is no fault in giving Dhawan one more chance. Rahane has shown skills and ability, but if he fails in Lords then its time to bring Rohit!

  • RAJARAMAN on July 14, 2014, 8:10 GMT

    @SanjivAwesome ... with current Eng batting, don't be too sure they will prosper in lively tracks ... the move will backfire

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