India v England, 3rd ODI, Mohali October 21, 2011

You don't always want a friendly series - Dhoni

ESPNcricinfo staff

MS Dhoni reckons England might need to change their strategy of verbal intimidation considering it has not actually worked in their favour in the ongoing series in which India have taken an unassailable 3-0 lead.

On the eve of the Mohali one-dayer the England pair of Tim Bresnan and Samit Patel had stressed on the importance of unsettling their opponents with "a little bit of a word or a look or a stare". The planned aggression cost Bresnan 7.5% of his Mohali match fee, after he was found guilty of breaching the ICC's code of conduct by snatching his cap from umpire Sudhir Asnani at the end of the 18th over of the chase. Players from both teams have been involved in a few verbal confrontations and Dhoni said he did not mind a little bit of "chit-chat" as long as long as his players did not step over the line or make personal remarks.

"A bit of chit-chat is fine because it makes things interesting. You don't always want a friendly series. But I think they should change their strategy for the next two games," Dhoni said after the five-wicket victory in Mohali.

Dhoni also did not want to get carried away and term this series victory as "revenge" for the disastrous summer India had endured in England, where they lost the Test and one-day series and the solitary Twenty20 match. "I don't think the word revenge should be used. On the one hand we talk about the spirit of cricket, and on the other hand there's this talk of revenge, which I don't think is right."

In Mohali, India were cruising in the chase before a few quick wickets left Dhoni and Ravindra Jadeja 64 to get off 50 balls. Dhoni said he just wanted to bat till the end because he knew the bowlers would eventually feel the pressure. "You always want to stay till the end because you reach a stage where the bowlers and batsmen are under pressure, and then whoever executes better wins. We knew that if Jadeja and I are there in the end then even if we needed 20-25 runs off the last two overs, Twenty20 cricket has taught us that is possible."

Dhoni also pointed out that he would not like to disturb the winning combination and instead would persist with playing their young batsmen at the top of the order because they needed time in the middle. "The youngsters need to be batting 20-25 overs. Once they are more experienced, then we can experiment with batting them lower in the order. Nos. 6 and 7 are difficult places to bat because there's only one or two batsmen behind you so it's better players are only tried there when they have a few games under their belt."

After having been thumped in the first two matches, England gave a better account of themselves in Mohali, but their captain Alastair Cook said that did not make the loss any easier to bear. The match once again threw the spotlight on Jonathan Trott's position in the one-day side. Though Trott scored 98 not out, he took 116 balls to get there and struggled to hit boundaries in the end overs. Cook, though, insisted Trott played his role perfectly.

"Trott played the anchor role and did it nicely," Cook said. "Fifty overs is quite a long time to bat and you need people to bat around him. Three hundred was a decent score and was defendable. Trott's instructions are the same as everyone else's: to play positively and try to get 300. Today we did that and he got 98 at a strike rate of 80-odd, so he did his role."

Cook again highlighted his side's fielding as the most disappointing part of their performance but said the team would still battle in the last two games. "One of the toughest challenges in sport is to lift yourselves when you've already lost a series. But there's still desperation to win."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on October 23, 2011, 13:28 GMT

    My England team for ODI's with this squad would be....

    Bell Kieswetter(wkt) Pietersen Trott Bopara Bairstow Patel Bresnan Swann Borthwick Finn

  • Nish on October 23, 2011, 11:23 GMT

    5wombats and all other england fans ---------

    Looking at the way Bairstow got cleaned up by Jadeja in the 4th ODI and english batsmen woes on this tour.....any predictions on the result of a test series between these two teams in India....If there was one?

  • Vicky on October 22, 2011, 20:32 GMT

    @5wombats - It is funny when the team loses and the fan still sticks to the same old mantra - we beat you in our backyard 8-0 when 2 matches were never played and the ODI loss has been paid back in full. Wait, you wont have any rains in India and get to see a 5-0 whitewash.

  • Mark on October 22, 2011, 14:11 GMT

    this is a tricky one. it does seem as if several indian players have had just as much to say as england players. and for the england players, if they don't show some fight, people will say that they're only tough when they're winning. certainly india's meek surrender in england was not impressive. equally all those indian fans crowing about england's bad behaviour, well that's not very gracious (or sporting) is it? india's home grounds could do with a bit more respect for the opposition, when the opposition hits a four or scores a fifty there's silence.

  • Sai on October 22, 2011, 13:08 GMT

    @svenkat02, being indians, we want revenge against England for what they did to us. But, like Dhoni said, revenge is a strong word and you should not be thinking about it all the time. We'll have to wait and see, until a good fast bowler can come without injuries and bowl 20 overs in an innings. The unreliable Zaheer Khan has failed us many a time so we still need a good fast bowler, maybe Praveen Kumar or Ishant Sharma. Hopefully, Sachin can play in that series but I doubt it because his body is getting old and he cannot last 5 days in the heat.

  • ajith on October 22, 2011, 12:10 GMT

    I do not care much for this series, beating England and watching them get irritated on the field is fun; but what I would love to see is a test series involving England in the sub continent. Not the Pak series in Dubai, but the SL series would be quite interesting. Will probably prove one way or other if the Eng team is just good in their backyard.

  • Ian on October 22, 2011, 10:49 GMT

    @svenkat02 - you may be right. I think (hope) it will be a good contest though. Can't wait!

  • Martin on October 22, 2011, 9:14 GMT

    @Cpt.Meanster - no mate, the funniest part of this forum is watching you and people like you continue to excuse indias attrocious displays in the Tests in England with comments like; "play the MOST interesting format of the game, which is 50 overs cricket". Ha ha ha - 50overs the most interesting form? Ha ha. As if. You use the word "peace" but you don't know how to keep it.

  • Martin on October 22, 2011, 8:35 GMT

    @Rahul Ranjan - "are there no england fan here now...perhaps they should search a gud hideout" - that is a very funny comment coming from a cricinfo member who wasn't saying anything when india were on their 8-match losing streak a few weeks ago. Perhaps @Rahul Ranjan - you only support india when they are winning?

  • Dummy4 on October 22, 2011, 7:05 GMT

    India won their first world cup in England ...we made the mighty west indians surrender in Lords but England hv never won a bilateral series in Indian since 1984 forget the world cup...lolz..

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