Millennium Post

Happy with draw: Dhoni

Happy with draw: Dhoni
Australia had finished their second innings at 318/9 at lunch to set India an improbable target of 384 runs, out of which the visitors scored 174-6 with Dhoni himself holding the fort at stumps.

With the third Test ending in a draw, India slumped to another Test series loss abroad as Australia regained the Border-Gavaskar Trophy. After the match, Dhoni announced his retirement from Test cricket with immediate effect but the 33-year-old did not give any hints of his impending decision when he had come to address the press conference.

Talking about the match, Dhoni said: “As a team, you want to win Tests. You look for a win, then a draw and then you fight it out so that you don’t lose the Test match. Our second innings bowling was very good but somehow we find ourselves in trouble and this match also we gave a lead of 60-plus runs.

“Their lower order contributed again and they had enough score to defend. It was very tough to score over 300 runs on this kind of wicket in one day. But overall I am quite happy. We lost early wickets. We like to test ourselves in such situations and we put pressure on ourselves, and there wasn’t enough pressure on Australia. Overall it was a good performance by the team,” he added.

India struggled after tea when they lost Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane and Cheteshwar Pujara in one passage of play, but then Dhoni and R Ashwin played out the last hour without too much fuss as the players shook hands with four overs remaining in the day.

When asked if Australia played it safe by declaring late, Dhoni replied, “It is their territory, so let them decide what they want to do. It was up to them when they wanted to declare. “To some extent the reason for late declaration was that in Adelaide the wicket was assisting the spinners and if we had a big partnership going here and played the number of overs, the result would have been in our favour. That’s what it suggests from the outside, so that would have played on their mind when deciding on the declaration.

“I was ready to play those four overs. I had played 14-15 overs until then and another 4 overs wouldn’t have made a difference. Maybe Australia were too tired to bowl,” he said.

Debutant KL Rahul was sent at number three ahead of Cheteshwar Pujara who was demoted to number six. This was another puzzling move after Rahul’s selection at number six ahead of Rohit Sharma and Suresh Raina. “The reason behind promoting Rahul was that he is also an opener so we wanted him to bat up the order. Also we thought there may come a situation to see what could happen later on in the day and with the mini-collapse, Pujara is a better man to have at that point in time,” explained Dhoni.

“It also gave us a chance to test Rahul because he is a top-order batsman. He was batting really well in the nets so we thought he can do well. We shouldn’t really judge him on just one performance. He is someone who really looks very compact and good,” Dhoni said.
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