India v New Zealand, 1st Test, Hyderabad August 22, 2012

Dhoni hopes for turn and bounce

ESPNcricinfo staff
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MS Dhoni, the India captain, has said he hopes the pitch at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium in Hyderabad will support spinners and generate some bounce and turn. However, he didn't say whether India would play two specialist spinners, though R Ashwin and Pragyan Ojha are in the squad.

"When you come to the sub-continent, it's not like I am talking about [only] India, it could be Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Bangladesh also, you need to have wickets that turn and that assist spinners. That's why they are special," Dhoni said. "Overall But it feels the spinners will get some bounce and turn as the game progresses."

This will be India's first Test series after the 0-4 debacle in Australia - and the first without Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman, which means there will be competition for spots in the middle order. "It's an opportunity for youngsters to take up the responsibility in the longest format and we are hoping the youngsters will grab these opportunities and do well," Dhoni said.

The Test series marks the start of a long home season for India, only briefly interrupted by the World T20 in Sri Lanka. Dhoni said he wasn't looking too far ahead. "We have not played a Test match in the last six to seven months, so it will be important to turn up on the field and look to do small things right.

"It's important to get into the groove, give a bit more respect to the bowlers. This is one format where you can afford to that and we have to do that. Starting well means winning small sessions and if you win a majority of them, you win Test matches."

Both Dravid and Laxman were relied on heavily in the slip cordon but Dhoni believed the area was secure even in their absence, thanks to some good catchers in the current squad. "We have Virat [Kohli], [Suresh] Raina and we already have [Virender] Sehwag there, he will most likely stand in at first slip. I don't think we will be short of fielders who field at slips.

"Spinners can be a bit of an issue because it will be challenging especially when there is bounce. We may miss Rahul bhai over there, but let's just look ahead and give youngsters a chance and one of them may take some catches"

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Fast_Track_Bully on August 23, 2012, 4:55 GMT

    @ MattyP1979. Either support Eng or support NZ. Why you are taking credit of Eng and Australia! funny. Ok then, even BD beat you in a series. Are you OK with it?

  • VivtheGreatest on August 23, 2012, 4:50 GMT

    @crindo77, We've also lost to Bangladesh in the World cup so I suggest u dont bring that up!!

  • immit13 on August 23, 2012, 3:55 GMT

    @Arrow0110- What are you talking man?? No one bats for 100s as SRT does.. and you are saying Laxman was playing for any records? and at least mind your word (a lazy bone!!!) tell me if our Indian team is full of Jonty Rhodes and AB de velliers ??? anyways i have no issues with our champion SRT. I really feel Dhoni is doing what once Greg Chappel accussed Ganguly for.. he is breaking the team than making one. When success comes people hardly notice any negative, but ig is very very and very much evident that Dhoni and Test cricket does not go well. He can play ODIs and T20s (he is a hero there, a superhero, our WC winner captain) but he is a baised captain and should accept that he is no good at TEST level captaincy and hand it to Gauti. Even though I am an Indian i want NZ to win just because with team of Virat and Dhoni and Raina I can hardly relate myself.

  • Selfishkar on August 23, 2012, 3:49 GMT

    Raina in the test side for slip fielding. He is proven failure with bat.

  • wolf777 on August 23, 2012, 1:35 GMT

    Turn is OK. But, bounce? Is Dhoni out of his mind? Since when Indian batsmen are good against bounce?

  • MattyP1979 on August 23, 2012, 1:16 GMT

    Yep. Like supporting Eng all these years I am used to plucking for the under-dog. NZ could cause an upset here and I for one am donning my NZ shirt. Anyways it should be good for some of the more rotund Indians to get into shape (other than a circle that is) before Eng arrive to continue on ther humiliation we last gave you. 8-0 is a tough pill to swallow, so NZ at home is a good plan.

  • praveen4honestremark on August 23, 2012, 1:05 GMT

    Even though i am Dhoni fan i am getting a feel that Dhoni needs to check himself on behaving with his team players and working with them. VVS calls Dhoni before retiring to inform that he will be retiring, calls Dhoni but our captain didn't picks up and neither he calls back after he notices those miss calls. Is this the way a captain should behave. If it wasn't VVS issue then we would have not understood how Dhoni behaves with his players. And i think this attitude towards team mates is even costing team plans. He will not be in situation to listen others even in plans and that's one of cause in loss of series abroad. I saw Gambhir leading KKR as a leader first time. I felt so happy the way he responds to his team mates. As Amarnath , selector feels it's right time to change captain for tests. Taking Indian team good future, i feel Gambhir should be made captain, if Dhoni constantly be the adamant and careless towards players. Change yourway Dhoni and one day we will change captain.

  • Dashgar on August 23, 2012, 0:16 GMT

    I don't see how the slips could be any worse than they were in Australia. On paper India are a much better batting side now as Laxman and Dravid were very much on the decline. It'll be interesting to see ow the newer players cope with the pressure though. @Grizzle, spot on about Sachin. Question is with this leadership gap will he take the responsibility of batting number 3 or doesn't he have the technique or courage to do that. @Crindo77, you probably shouldn't mention Bangladesh as India lost to them in the Asia cup.

  • maddy20 on August 23, 2012, 0:11 GMT

    @MattyP1979 Home advantage does not mean you always win. I was hoping you would realize that your team was drubbed thrice in a row by SA at home. Different players, different captains, same result. If anything, I would rate this series as warm up for the things to come and a chance for youngsters to stand up and be counted.

  • ravi-1967 on August 22, 2012, 23:56 GMT

    It is unfortunate that people like Grizzle do not understand the game as well. SRT has said he would continue to play until he loves playing the game. In Eng he was the second highest run getter for India. Agreed he struggled to get to the 100th 100 but he is also human.

    People wrote him off in 2006 and look at what he has acheived after that. I sugget people keep quite.

  • Fast_Track_Bully on August 23, 2012, 4:55 GMT

    @ MattyP1979. Either support Eng or support NZ. Why you are taking credit of Eng and Australia! funny. Ok then, even BD beat you in a series. Are you OK with it?

  • VivtheGreatest on August 23, 2012, 4:50 GMT

    @crindo77, We've also lost to Bangladesh in the World cup so I suggest u dont bring that up!!

  • immit13 on August 23, 2012, 3:55 GMT

    @Arrow0110- What are you talking man?? No one bats for 100s as SRT does.. and you are saying Laxman was playing for any records? and at least mind your word (a lazy bone!!!) tell me if our Indian team is full of Jonty Rhodes and AB de velliers ??? anyways i have no issues with our champion SRT. I really feel Dhoni is doing what once Greg Chappel accussed Ganguly for.. he is breaking the team than making one. When success comes people hardly notice any negative, but ig is very very and very much evident that Dhoni and Test cricket does not go well. He can play ODIs and T20s (he is a hero there, a superhero, our WC winner captain) but he is a baised captain and should accept that he is no good at TEST level captaincy and hand it to Gauti. Even though I am an Indian i want NZ to win just because with team of Virat and Dhoni and Raina I can hardly relate myself.

  • Selfishkar on August 23, 2012, 3:49 GMT

    Raina in the test side for slip fielding. He is proven failure with bat.

  • wolf777 on August 23, 2012, 1:35 GMT

    Turn is OK. But, bounce? Is Dhoni out of his mind? Since when Indian batsmen are good against bounce?

  • MattyP1979 on August 23, 2012, 1:16 GMT

    Yep. Like supporting Eng all these years I am used to plucking for the under-dog. NZ could cause an upset here and I for one am donning my NZ shirt. Anyways it should be good for some of the more rotund Indians to get into shape (other than a circle that is) before Eng arrive to continue on ther humiliation we last gave you. 8-0 is a tough pill to swallow, so NZ at home is a good plan.

  • praveen4honestremark on August 23, 2012, 1:05 GMT

    Even though i am Dhoni fan i am getting a feel that Dhoni needs to check himself on behaving with his team players and working with them. VVS calls Dhoni before retiring to inform that he will be retiring, calls Dhoni but our captain didn't picks up and neither he calls back after he notices those miss calls. Is this the way a captain should behave. If it wasn't VVS issue then we would have not understood how Dhoni behaves with his players. And i think this attitude towards team mates is even costing team plans. He will not be in situation to listen others even in plans and that's one of cause in loss of series abroad. I saw Gambhir leading KKR as a leader first time. I felt so happy the way he responds to his team mates. As Amarnath , selector feels it's right time to change captain for tests. Taking Indian team good future, i feel Gambhir should be made captain, if Dhoni constantly be the adamant and careless towards players. Change yourway Dhoni and one day we will change captain.

  • Dashgar on August 23, 2012, 0:16 GMT

    I don't see how the slips could be any worse than they were in Australia. On paper India are a much better batting side now as Laxman and Dravid were very much on the decline. It'll be interesting to see ow the newer players cope with the pressure though. @Grizzle, spot on about Sachin. Question is with this leadership gap will he take the responsibility of batting number 3 or doesn't he have the technique or courage to do that. @Crindo77, you probably shouldn't mention Bangladesh as India lost to them in the Asia cup.

  • maddy20 on August 23, 2012, 0:11 GMT

    @MattyP1979 Home advantage does not mean you always win. I was hoping you would realize that your team was drubbed thrice in a row by SA at home. Different players, different captains, same result. If anything, I would rate this series as warm up for the things to come and a chance for youngsters to stand up and be counted.

  • ravi-1967 on August 22, 2012, 23:56 GMT

    It is unfortunate that people like Grizzle do not understand the game as well. SRT has said he would continue to play until he loves playing the game. In Eng he was the second highest run getter for India. Agreed he struggled to get to the 100th 100 but he is also human.

    People wrote him off in 2006 and look at what he has acheived after that. I sugget people keep quite.

  • SanjivAwesome on August 22, 2012, 23:43 GMT

    There is lots of new faces in the India team - so that will make the teams a lot more equal in many respects. India is located in the warmer latitudes of the the globe, the climate patterns there create a warm and dryer environment. In stark contrast to the moisture laden, rain heavy environments in the UK and NZ. So it will be a good test of how the visting teams adopt to the conditions that are alien to them. Team India certainly failed to adopt to the alien conditions in UK and Aus recently. I am excitedly looking forward to this series. Lets start the cricket!

  • grizzle on August 22, 2012, 22:56 GMT

    Arrow011 - Is this the same SRT who wasn't available because he wanted time off after playing the IPL? The same SRT who struggled for match after match to try to get to a contrived milestone, and in the process could not guide his team to safety or success over the course of 8 consecutive overseas defeats? The same SRT who reached this milestone at great cost to the rest of the team (getting kicked out of the Asia cup) and then went around the country parading this achievement? Right. I have the greatest respect for Tendulkar's (real) accomplishments, but he does not to me stand head and shoulders above Dravid and Laxman. And if he can no longer justify his place based on performance, he should call it quits, just as Dravid and Laxman have done.

  • Temuzin on August 22, 2012, 22:14 GMT

    So Matty, English fans will be donning NZ jumpers now ? I think poms took to the heart that Indian fans supported SA.

  • crindo77 on August 22, 2012, 22:13 GMT

    @MattyP1979You lost to Bangladesh in the WC, so shut it.

  • sk12 on August 22, 2012, 20:25 GMT

    Looking at the photo.. juz wondering what Piyush is doing.. well not in the photo, but in the squad.And the crouched stance of gambhir from behind is very similar to that of Sachin's while facing a spinner, maybe just the bat is coming from a wider angle.

  • MattyP1979 on August 22, 2012, 20:04 GMT

    Well Ind on the tough start of their 2 year test cricket season at home. To be fair they only last played 2 years at home 1 year ago so it has been a while. 4 years out of 5 in the sub lol. It starts with another tough opponent NZ!!! Although under-dogs I am going left field and saying NZ, to get something from this match. Lots of luck NZ, Ind fans will have to get rid of their SA jumpers and try and find some home colours.

  • on August 22, 2012, 19:59 GMT

    I think Raina deserves a chance. He's been extremely reliable, both in T20 and ODI's of late. No that isn't necessarily a sign that he's ready for Test cricket, but then if you don't give him a chance, he never will be ready. The guy is flawed against pace and bounce, but he plays with a big heart, especially in the feild were he flings himself at the ball.

  • Professor.Biscuit.Khan on August 22, 2012, 18:05 GMT

    Pujara and Badrinath have better defence mechanism than Raina. Raina might score runs in sub-continent but he will fail again on Fast Tracks whereas Pujara and Badrinath can survive there too. I hope, Dhoni chooses these two ahead of Raina.

  • Arrow011 on August 22, 2012, 17:53 GMT

    @immit13 - SRT is the guiding force for all the youngsters, Dhoni is captain right but the chief motivator is SRT. The legend will play for some more years, dont be jealous, be sane. Laxman & Dravid were incapable to chasxe 180+ runs in 45 overs against the then minnows West Indies, how can they be so great? They did win matches for India no doubt but they also opted for a draw when a win was easily possible in West Indies, it would have been 2-0 for India. Dravid is miles ahead of the lazy bone VVS. Whenever VVS scored a 100 he made 2s into 1s, 3s into 2s & a big liability when fielding (catching along was decent), he would not run fast to chase the ball, he was as lousy as Kumble was. This costed atleast 20-30 runs every innings.

    @svenkat02 - Raina is lot better than VVS, he would score runs faster, even if he scores less, his superb fielding would be a big bonus.

    The top 7 should be like this,

    1. Gambhir - 2. Sehwag, 3- Kohli, 4- Sachin, 5 - Pujara, 6- Raina, 7- Dhoni

  • Nampally on August 22, 2012, 17:36 GMT

    Dravid was the leader in Slip catching in Tests in the world with nearly 210 & Laxman had 135 catches. Dhoni might say Kohli, Sehwag & Raina as the next group, but they are starting from about 10,35 & 20 catches resptly - long way to go. Also Kohli & Raina are outstanding fielders in the covers. It is best to develop other guys for the slips. Before developing Slip catching India need to have bowlers capable of inducing slip catches. Only the aging ZAK has that capability. Irfan Pathan is also good but not in the squad. Yadev & Ishant need to develop their accuracy & control before they can do so. As for the present test, Dhoni must go with 5 bowlers - 3 seamers + 2 spinners to be in a position to get 20 wkts. Gembhir, Sehwag, Sachin & Kohli need to get play responsibly to get big scores between them. There will be lot of pressure on the new comers like Pujara, Raina & Badri to produce who ever is in the XI. Dhoni also needs to produce.India need to win the series to move up from 5th.

  • pr3m on August 22, 2012, 16:47 GMT

    Let's go boys! A new look middle order with only one of the top four guns left. Time for the new kids to shine.

  • on August 22, 2012, 16:38 GMT

    raina is the best choice... bcz no left hander after gambhir....lets see what will be the decision of dhoni.... hope india will win this match... all d bst team india

  • Resultpredictor on August 22, 2012, 16:26 GMT

    India is playing at home and against weak team so it will be easy wins for Dhoni at Hyderabad and Bangalore. Good luck Dhoni

  • Narbavi on August 22, 2012, 16:25 GMT

    @Aravind Mantravadi: When u look at sachin in the side who is almost 40, then 31 is surely an young age!! Badri has 6good years left in him!!

  • on August 22, 2012, 16:24 GMT

    Not just slips alone! Short leg! Silly Mid-on! Silly mid-off! And, of course WK! Watch out for a lot of balls coming up with unpredictable trajectories via bat-pad. Be ready with all paraphernalia...helmets, shin guards, crotch guards ... and, of course,... your own guts! More so, if we are going to field two spinners!

  • Riderstorm on August 22, 2012, 15:51 GMT

    Raina seems to be playing this series nullifying the nice gesture of laxman opting out. He isn't fit yet for test cricket. He can't handle decent enough bowling attack. He might score a century this series which doesn't negate his flaws in any manner. But, he brings exuberance into the field which is a plus.

  • adis26 on August 22, 2012, 15:07 GMT

    @Juno Joy - I don't know what the hell you're on about. He is allowed to have his preferences and he is also allowed to persist with them. The team has performed very well under his captaincy and he has won many laurels for us. With all due respected to our beloved ex-captains like Azhar, Dada, Dravid, Kumble, etc. - they have done a whole lot of India but Dhoni has been extremely instrumental in winning us multiple world cups and several test wins... The last thing he's is useless...dude'e a gem for India and manages the team reasonably well. And hopefully many would agree - among the top captains today in world cricket.

  • on August 22, 2012, 15:00 GMT

    @Eat_sleep_play_cricket: How is Badri a youngster?

  • SRAM20 on August 22, 2012, 14:44 GMT

    So this means Raina is going to play! Damn it, one spot already taken. Now its between Pujara, Rahane and Badri for the other spot. Totally useless Dhoni is becoming!

  • immit13 on August 22, 2012, 14:41 GMT

    I only wish India face a tough competition from NZ (though highly unlikely). but I want India to have a look in the mirror and accept the fact that the pool of players they have are only for ODIs or T20s. India is no more a proper Test playing nation. They could not even draw that last 8 matches they played, lost all even with Dravid and Laxman. I dearly want them to miss DRAVID and LAXMAN in the upcoming series'. The guys who did not really get their share of value in the team. Also wish SRT fails and hangs his boots earlier than later, even though i am one of his big fans but he is really the one who should be giving other youngsters chance in their carrers.

  • ProdigyA on August 22, 2012, 14:27 GMT

    Talk about silp catching, thank god there is no more Rahul in the slip. No disrespect for the legend or for all the great cathes he has taken over the years but in the last few years he has been horrible dropping way too many catches and costing the match many times. So it can only get better.

  • on August 22, 2012, 14:12 GMT

    Hoping to see Pujara stake claim to Laxman's slot in the team. And Kohli at no.3 in place of Dravid. Good that they are getting a chance to cement their place in a home series.

  • Eat_Sleep_Play_Cricket on August 22, 2012, 13:28 GMT

    Good Luck Team India! Lets regain the #1 ranking wining match by match. Biggest take away from the series would be to see out of three youngsters (Raina, Badri and Pujara) who will cement their place forever in the middle order. Hopefully Ojha and Ashwin can bring back the missing spark in spin department and Sehwag regains his magic touch at the top. Play aggressive cricket and win session by session, that is something this young team is not familiar with. Hope to see some good test match! Good Luck.

  • on August 22, 2012, 13:26 GMT

    Dhoni is good for politics only.Remove Manmohan Singh and appoint MS Dhoni as captain.then he will make Ravi Jadeja the President.Useless completely useless

  • on August 22, 2012, 12:34 GMT

    Confident Dhoni will be leading truly young india with most of the veterans are out!! All the Best, Team India!!

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  • on August 22, 2012, 12:34 GMT

    Confident Dhoni will be leading truly young india with most of the veterans are out!! All the Best, Team India!!

  • on August 22, 2012, 13:26 GMT

    Dhoni is good for politics only.Remove Manmohan Singh and appoint MS Dhoni as captain.then he will make Ravi Jadeja the President.Useless completely useless

  • Eat_Sleep_Play_Cricket on August 22, 2012, 13:28 GMT

    Good Luck Team India! Lets regain the #1 ranking wining match by match. Biggest take away from the series would be to see out of three youngsters (Raina, Badri and Pujara) who will cement their place forever in the middle order. Hopefully Ojha and Ashwin can bring back the missing spark in spin department and Sehwag regains his magic touch at the top. Play aggressive cricket and win session by session, that is something this young team is not familiar with. Hope to see some good test match! Good Luck.

  • on August 22, 2012, 14:12 GMT

    Hoping to see Pujara stake claim to Laxman's slot in the team. And Kohli at no.3 in place of Dravid. Good that they are getting a chance to cement their place in a home series.

  • ProdigyA on August 22, 2012, 14:27 GMT

    Talk about silp catching, thank god there is no more Rahul in the slip. No disrespect for the legend or for all the great cathes he has taken over the years but in the last few years he has been horrible dropping way too many catches and costing the match many times. So it can only get better.

  • immit13 on August 22, 2012, 14:41 GMT

    I only wish India face a tough competition from NZ (though highly unlikely). but I want India to have a look in the mirror and accept the fact that the pool of players they have are only for ODIs or T20s. India is no more a proper Test playing nation. They could not even draw that last 8 matches they played, lost all even with Dravid and Laxman. I dearly want them to miss DRAVID and LAXMAN in the upcoming series'. The guys who did not really get their share of value in the team. Also wish SRT fails and hangs his boots earlier than later, even though i am one of his big fans but he is really the one who should be giving other youngsters chance in their carrers.

  • SRAM20 on August 22, 2012, 14:44 GMT

    So this means Raina is going to play! Damn it, one spot already taken. Now its between Pujara, Rahane and Badri for the other spot. Totally useless Dhoni is becoming!

  • on August 22, 2012, 15:00 GMT

    @Eat_sleep_play_cricket: How is Badri a youngster?

  • adis26 on August 22, 2012, 15:07 GMT

    @Juno Joy - I don't know what the hell you're on about. He is allowed to have his preferences and he is also allowed to persist with them. The team has performed very well under his captaincy and he has won many laurels for us. With all due respected to our beloved ex-captains like Azhar, Dada, Dravid, Kumble, etc. - they have done a whole lot of India but Dhoni has been extremely instrumental in winning us multiple world cups and several test wins... The last thing he's is useless...dude'e a gem for India and manages the team reasonably well. And hopefully many would agree - among the top captains today in world cricket.

  • Riderstorm on August 22, 2012, 15:51 GMT

    Raina seems to be playing this series nullifying the nice gesture of laxman opting out. He isn't fit yet for test cricket. He can't handle decent enough bowling attack. He might score a century this series which doesn't negate his flaws in any manner. But, he brings exuberance into the field which is a plus.