Millennium Post

MS lauds young brigade

After leading India to its first ever series clean sweep in Test cricket with an emphatic six-wicket victory over Australia in the final Test on Sunday, skipper MS Singh Dhoni lauded the entire team for showing lots of character. Just a year back, India lost to Australia in their backyard by the same 0-4 margin. Though Sunday’s victory came as a fitting reply to that shameful drubbing, Dhoni said he doesn’t like the term ‘revenge’.

‘The scoreline doesn’t matter. I would like to keep away from words like ‘revenge’ because the next question could be about the spirit of the game. It was a good series for us. The youngsters got good exposure and I’m happy with the way we batted throughout the series,’ said Dhoni.

The victory couldn’t have come at a better time, especially after the 1-2 loss at home at the hands of England. Echoing this view, Dhoni said it was an important series win for them. ‘It is a big boost to win 4-0 with this unit. Credit goes to every one. The last one and a half years has not been great for us in Tests, but they showed a lot of character, put in good performance and battled it out,’ Dhoni said after the match.

Dhoni believes building partnerships played a key role in the series. ‘Besides building partnerships, we also executed the plans very well. Partnerships are more important than individual big scores,’ said Dhoni. The skipper also praised the likes of Shikhar Dhawan, Murali Vijay, Cheteshwar Pujara and Ravindra Jadeja, who all played important roles in orchestrating India’s triumph. ‘I think it was a good series for the youngsters. They rose up to their tasks and performed very well. I’m very happy with Dhawan and Vijay who took their chances while Pujara batted really well throughout the series and even today,’ Dhoni said.

On whether his captaincy methods have changed, Dhoni said, ‘Not much. The line-up has changed entirely, especially batting. You have to tell the youngsters what went wrong. Operating in the field hasn’t changed. With experienced players, you don’t have to be as vocal since they understand situations. It’s important for the youngsters to carry these inputs for the future.’

Dhoni also brushed aside the on-field spat between the players of both the teams. ‘I think it was like a ‘school boy graduating’ spat which the match referee handled very well. If a team starts sledging, the opposition should give it back. This kind of chit-chat is good.’
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