Times of Oman
Nov 30, 2015 LAST UPDATED AT 10:35 AM GMT
Despite winning, Dhoni unhappy with Motera pitch
November 21, 2012 | 12:00 AM

AHMEDABAD: India might have made merry at the Motera pitch while outplaying England in the opening Test but skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni was still not impressed with the track here and said he wants all the wickets to turn from the first ball itself.

"I don't even want to see this wicket. There wasn't enough turn and bounce for the spinners. Hopefully in the coming matches we'll see the wicket turn, right from start, or as soon as possible so that the toss doesn't become vital," Dhoni said.

"What we want to see is two good sides competing against each other with the toss taken out of the equation," he added. "I don't think the match referee can question a pitch just because it's turning. When the wicket seams right from the first delivery nobody asks questions," the India captain said.

"What you don't want is ridges in the wicket and then one ball hits your head and next your toe."

He was not worried that matches, on such turning tracks, would end in three or four days as he felt the importance of the toss would be gone.

"At times, in the subcontinent, on pitches like this, the toss becomes vital. The only way to take the toss out of the equation is to have pitches that turn right from the start. The game may end in 3.5 days, but both teams will have an equal opportunity to win the game," said Dhoni.

Dhoni said his team had to really work hard for victory here though they made England follow on 330 runs behind. The visiting team's captain Alastair Cook (176) and wicket keeper Matt Prior (91) led a splendid fight back in the second innings.

"It was not so easy. We were on the field for two, two-and-a-half days. The bowlers had to bowl very patiently. (Pragyan) Ojha bowled close to 80 overs, (Ravichandran) Ashwin bowled 72 overs. And they were supported well by the fast bowlers," Dhoni said.

"As the game progressed the pitch got slower and slower. I don't think there was much turn. The odd ball turned but there wasn't enough bounce for the edge to carry to the slip fielder. It was about keeping one or two deliveries out and you were set for the game."

Dhoni said the turning point in the match, after India ran up a huge score, came in the final session of day two and first session of day three as England folded up for under 200.

"It was the last session on the second day and first session on the third day that really shifted the game in our favour," said Dhoni.

The Indian skipper also praised his fast bowlers and said they contributed in equal measure to what the two spinners did.

"Our fast bowlers bowled really well. Zaheer Khan put in a lot of effort, we've seen Umesh improve, he's bowling real quick. The contribution of the fast bowlers was really important. They gave us the breakthrough when it was really needed.

"What was impressive was the fast bowlers getting six wickets. It was not an ideal track for fast bowlers to get wickets. Their contribution was as important as the spinners.

"The first innings was challenging for England as the ball was turning. After that the wicket slowed down and they got used to the pace. That's one of the main reasons why our bowlers had to battle really hard to get wickets in the second innings," he explained.

He defended England's strategy of going in with three fast bowlers in the game and leaving out left arm spinner Monty Panesar which has been criticised.

"That's their strength. They need to back their strength. I think it was the right decision. They have a very good bowling attack. You can say this was one off day for them. They have the right kind of talent. Swann is one of the best off-spinners in the world," Dhoni said.

"Maybe they were a bit disheartened by seeing the lack of bounce. When you come from England where the keeper collects the ball at a good height and you play here, where the ball goes to the keeper in two bounces, it's a bit discouraging."

He also praised Cheteshwa

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