Sunday, January 24, 2010

Dhoni refuses to take Bangladesh lightly

After Virender Sehwag's deriding statement against the host side, regular skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni on Saturday switched to damage control mode saying they will not take Bangladesh lightly in the second Test, beginning on Sunday.

Sehwag, who led the team in the first Test in absence of Dhoni, was blunt while saying that the Bangladesh was an "ordinary" side which cannot bowl India twice.

Asked whether Bangladesh can beat India in second Test, Dhoni said, "That is why they are playing. You should not take any side lightly in international cricket. At the end of the day it was the 10 balls that matters. There is no good reason why they (Bangladesh) should not take 20 wickets."

"If any side does not think that they can win, what is the point of playing. We don't think of losing and we always want to win. But we have lost matches against some good sides. So, anything can happen in cricket," he said at the pre-match press conference.

Dhoni however, said his side dominated the first Test match till the end after their batting collapse in their first innings.

"After the fourth day, frankly speaking everybody knew Bangladesh cannot win. Either We would win or the match could be a draw. Their bowlers did reasonably well in the first Test but they were supposed to that as an international side," he said.

Dhoni also said that Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir were gradually growing into world's best opening pair.

"There can be arguments on this but I feel that Viru (Sehwag) and Guati (Gambhir) are shaping up as the best opening pair in the world. They have given strong starts many a times. That is very important in Test matches in sub-continental pitches," he said.

"They have left-right combination and rotate the strike and singles are very important in Test cricket. They are different players but complement each other.

"Sehwag would try to hit early to put pressure on the bowlers. Gambhir would wait for a while though he would play shot if the ball comes at his areas. If Sehwag fires pressure is reduced on Gambhir," he said.

With his 116 in Chittagong in the first match, Gambhir became only the fourth cricketer in the world to have scored five tons in five consecutive Tests and Dhoni said if the spunky opener gets another hundred it would be a memorable moment for the team.

"I hope Gauti scores a century and that would be a proud moment for himself and for the team," he said.

Dhoni did not reveal the team composition for tomorrow's match but said he himself and off-spinner Harbhajan Singh are fit to play while VVS Laxman has been ruled out.

Dhoni also refused to divulge the details of the talk of some of senior Indian cricketers giving some financial help to national hockey players, saying, "That is confidential. I can't say anything."

Asked whether Bangladesh players lacked commitment from what he had seen them play in one-dayers and Test cricket, Dhoni said, "I don't think that there was lack of commitment."

"In One-dayers you can play your shots and think of scoring from every ball. But Test cricket is different. You have to hang on for periods of difficult time, remain at the crease for three-four hours to put up a good score for your bowlers to defend. It is about some two-three players toiling to score big," he added

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