In line of fire, Dhoni sticks to his guns: Iíll still have a wicket that turns from Day One
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After England defeated India at their own game, an under-fire Mahendra Singh Dhoni turned up at the press-conference on Monday rather unfazed as he defended his decision to ask for a rank turner at the Wankhede Stadium. In fact, Dhoni, who even appeared mildly combative (at least more combative than what he looked with willow in hand), went on to add he would rather want a similar kind of pitch in Kolkata and Nagpur for the next two Tests than a slow and low track of the Motera sort used in the opening match, which India won by 10 wickets.
"I will still like to have a typical sub-continental wicket that turns from the first day. So, the importance of toss is reduced, and whichever team plays better cricket wins the game. You want to face challenges in Test cricket and these are the sort of tracks that push you to that. All wickets should be like this," Dhoni said after the visitors levelled the series with a 10-wicket victory.
India were favourites to win the Mumbai Test, especially after getting all they wanted, but they were outplayed by England in all departments. A day before the Test match, in fact, Dhoni had ruled out the idea of having three spinners, but changed his mind at the last minute after having a quick look at the pitch. India went ahead with R. Ashwin, Pragyan Ojha and the experienced Harbhajan Singh. The trio took two wickets fewer than England's Monty Panesar in the entire match.
Monty, who looked more 'Turbanator' than the original, ended up with figures of 11-210, only the second instance of an English spinner taking 10 wickets or more in a match in India after Hedley Verity 78 years ago. Panesar and Graeme Swann (8-113), between them, nearly accounted for the Indian side twice.