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

Dhoni hopes for turn and bounce

ESPNcricinfo staff

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

  • Manesh 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?

  • VINODK 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!!

  • Mitesh 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.

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

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

  • Amit 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?

  • Mathew 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.

  • Praveen 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.

  • Tim 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.

  • V.L 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 Kumar 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.

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