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Monday, 1 August 2011

Turnaround not impossible: MS Dhoni

Even as the last rites were being performed, Zaheer Khan stepped out in India's flaming red shirt and started bowling; he began slowly, testing his legs, his run-up and finally his follow-through. "It's not yet over," surmised captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni as he watched his premier pacer trying to regain fitness for the crucial this Test next week. "A turnaround is not impossible," he said. "At the top level, you often find yourselves in this situation. 

"You just need to have belief in yourself and the team. You just try and make it happen," he added. India are already down 0-2 after losing at Lord's and at Trent Bridge; if they lose another Test, or fail to win at least one, they can kiss the No.1 title goodbye. 

Dhoni, though, was not willing to think about that right now. The defeat will hurt but he knows he and his team have already done something even more special: they have lifted the game itself with their sporting gesture on Sunday afternoon. 

"There have been similar incidents in the past too. We ourselves faced one in West Indies (where Laxman was stumped out after lifting his foot while trying to balance himself). So we didn't want to bring a revenge-like feeling here," he said, even as the Trent Bridge crowd gave him a loud cheer. 

Detailing the decision to recall Ian Bell, Dhoni said: "When we went back to the dressing room, we knew that it was all OK. But we were not really feeling right about it. It's not about the laws of the game or its spirit. We thought we should do it for the game." 

He added: "The team and I are really happy that we called Bell back." 

The captain accepted that India lost the Test on the opening day itself, when England were allowed to claw back from 124 for eight. "It was the turning point. Broad and Swann played a few brave shots and the mishits fell in vacant spots. That's what they needed and the 100 runs made the difference," he said. 

He praised his pacers even while revealing that they were tired. "We have come straight from West Indies and they bowled very well. But we have not put enough runs on the board. It is a matter of concern as we are known for that," Dhoni said.

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