The manner of India’s losses has predictably set a few alarms ringing in world cricketing circles, more so with India being the top-ranked Test side in the world. Former captain MS Dhoni though, has found a silver lining among the gloom surrounding Team India’s performances.
Team India and captain Virat Kohli have been copping up criticism from fans, pundits and former cricketers alike in the last few days after letting South Africa take an unassailable 2-0 lead in the series, surrendering the Freedom Series Trophy in the process.
After losing the Cape Town Test by a margin of 72 runs, India’s batsmen were again found wanting against quality pace bowling even with the Centurion pitch being on the slower side. Other than Virat Kohli’s sublime century in the first innings, no other Indian batsman could stand up to the challenge posed by Kagiso Rabada, Morne Morkel and debutant Lungi Ngidi.
Speaking at a promotional event for his IPL side Chennai Super Kings on Friday (January 19), Dhoni said: “I would say, ‘look at the positives’ (of both the matches),” he said. “To win a Test, we need 20 wickets, regardless of whether you are playing at home or away. We have taken 20 wickets (in both matches).”
A rather important point in contention here is that Dhoni is one of the only two Indian captains to have won a Test match in South Africa and certainly knows what he is talking about, with his cricketing brain and acumen widely appreciated across the globe. In the five Test matches that Dhoni captained against the Proteas in their own backyard, his bowling attack managed to take 20 wickets in a match only twice.
It is for this reason that the former India captain believes that the ability to take 20 wickets in foreign conditions in both matches has been one of the biggest positives for the Virat Kohli-led side. “The biggest positive is that we are taking 20 wickets which means we are always in a position to win a Test.”
Commenting on India’s batting failures, Dhoni opined that it is only a matter of time before the other batsmen start supporting Kohli. “Once you start scoring runs, you will be there,” he concluded.