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Why did Dhoni refuse to attack on Day Four?
Sourav Ganguly, Hindustan Times
December 19, 2012
First Published: 01:29 IST(19/12/2012)
Last Updated: 02:10 IST(19/12/2012)
MS Dhoni and Pragyan Ojha celebrate the dismissal of England batsman Nick Compton during their last Test match at the VCA Stadium in Nagpur. (PTI Photo)

India's Test form over the last 15-16 months is a major worry for the selectors and the players concerned. India were outplayed by England in all departments of the game and that has not happened too many times at home. England did get into a position of winning Test matches in the past, but in this series they showed a lot of determination.

They prepared well for the series and showed the hunger to fight in difficult conditions. The performance of Joe Root and Graeme Swann on the second morning of the Nagpur Test was a prime example.http://www.hindustantimes.com/Images/Popup/2012/12/19_12_pg17e.jpg

India will need to solve a few issues, which is important for them to move forward. The biggest thing they need to admit is that their performance in the last 16 months has been very ordinary, and it is important for every player to sit back and introspect. http://www.hindustantimes.com/Images/Popup/2012/12/19_12_pg17d.jpg

India's biggest strength has been their spin department in sub-continent conditions, and this has let them down very badly. From a technical point of view, when you look at the revolutions of the ball on slow-cam, you will understand why they weren't able to spin the ball even on Day Five on rough pitches.


Improve quicky
One doesn't always need footmarks to turn the ball, and both Ashwin and Ojha will have to look into it. They are young and still learning, and will need to improve very quickly. They must remember that they will have to learn to pick wickets on good surfaces if they have to play for a long time. The selectors also need to remember that they can't put Harbhajan out of their mind. He still has a lot to offer.

India's batting has been inconsistent and needs to show a lot more fight against good attack. It was great to see the way Dhoni and Virat batted under pressure and it will be important for Dhoni in this young team to show resolve in tough conditions.

There has been a lot written about Dhoni's captaincy, which has taken a serious dip over a period of time. His captaincy on Day 4 at Nagpur was a concern, where he refused to attack when he had to set the game up for India believing that the pitch had nothing in it. It is something hard to digest.

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The writer is a former India captain


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