Cricket

Dhoni out to banish away blues

2014-07-08 18:20
Mahendra Singh Dhoni (Gallo Images)

Nottingham - India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni believes his largely youthful side can put their miserable away record behind them as they prepare for their first five-Test series in England in 55 years.

Dhoni's men haven't won a Test outside of India since they beat the the West Indies at Kingston, Jamaica, in June 2011 -- a run now stretching to more than three years and spanning 14 matches.

But wicketkeeper Dhoni, speaking at Trent Bridge where the first Test against England starts on Wednesday, insisted he had seen signs of progress on the team's two most recent tours, of South Africa and New Zealand.

"There have been a lot of changes in the Indian side in the last one-and-half or close to two years," Dhoni said Tuesday.

"If you talk about the last two Test series that we played abroad - in South Africa and New Zealand - the performance of our team was really good.

"Though we lost both the series, we were definitely in a position to win the series," the wicketkeeper-batsman added, one of only three players in the tour squad along with seamer Ishant Sharma and back-up batsman Gautam Gambhir to have played a Test in England.

"If I compare between the first Test we played in South Africa and the last Test we played in New Zealand there has been considerable improvement."

For India, one challenge this series, as it was when they were thrashed 4-0 on their last visit to England three years ago, is taking 20 wickets a match at reasonable cost, with the strength of the current side its top-order batting.

Like many teams, India -- who've won only three Test series in England, in 1971, 1986 and 2007 -- are searching for a seam-bowling all-rounder.

Someone who could fit the bill in the current squad is the uncapped Stuart Binny, whose father Roger, himself an all-rounder, was one of the stars of India's 1986 tour of England.

"We have always talked about not having that genuine seaming all-rounder because of that we have to play with three fast bowlers and one spinner and if the pitch is not turning then a lot of effort, work needs to be shared by the fast bowlers," Dhoni explained.

"Stuart is someone who can bowl a bit and at the same time bat as well. If we can give him enough chance and groom him, then he can be someone who can do that job for us in the next six months.

"He won't be as good as someone like (South Africa's Jacques) Kallis but he can be someone who can bowl that 10 overs and bat a bit, he has got the talent."

Meanwhile Dhoni said he welcomed the input of now retired India great Rahul Dravid, the captain of the 2007 side that triumphed in England.

"We want a mentor with the side, who can talk about his past experiences over here," explained Dhoni.

"It's all about him interacting with the youngsters, and they are also comfortable talking to him."

Read more on:    ms dhoni  |  cricket
NEXT ON SPORT24X

Amla plays down exploits

40 minutes ago

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
Live Video Streaming
  • Blitz
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @00:00
  • SS1
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @01:00
  • SS2
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @02:00
  • SS3
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @03:00
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

 

This is what South Africans Googled in 2014!

Find out who and what South Africans were most curious about in 2014!

 
 

I love summer.24

This hilarious song is your new holiday anthem
The world's least visited destination is breathtaking!
LOL treadmill fail!
Google’s top searches of 2014
 
 
/Sport
Men
Women
Love 2 Meet
Featured

Got something you'd like to get off your chest? Got a burning desire to air an opinion? If so, be sure to sign-up on Sport24's FORUM!

Latest blogs
Vote

Which cricketer is currently of most value to the Proteas' Test team?

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

Newsletters Sign up for the Morning Glory, Super 15 and Soccer newsletters

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

Mobile Sport24 on your mobile phone - WAP, alerts, downloads, services

Forum Have your Say on Sport24's brand new Forum!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

iPhone Latest Sport24 news on your iPhone

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

Blogs Yes your opinion counts. Get it out there

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.