Kolkata, Dec 4: Despite facing criticism from all quarters for openly asking for rank turners, India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni on Tuesday remained adamant about his demand for designer tracks.
“When it comes to the subcontinents, it's about the spinners who play a crucial role. Whatever the result maybe we should stick to those kind of wickets which is our speciality,” Dhoni said while addressing the media on the eve of India's third Test against England.
“We will stick to the turning tracks. That's what our strength is. That's what home advantage means,” he reiterated.
“As I said when you come to India, you want to play on the turning tracks. Irrespective of the results—we lost the last game—we want to play on a wicket that suits the sub-continent conditions. That's what it is.”
“It's a big part. The concept of playing around the world and the challenge attached with it goes down the drain. Sometimes we see that even five days are not enough to get a result. I feel the challenges are when you play on tracks that assist the spin. It does not matter if you lose a few games or win the series.”
After their loss in Motera, England bounced back on turning wicket of Wankhede to thrash India by 10 wickets and level the series 1-1.
But Dhoni said it did not matter if they lose or win but sticking to the home conditions was important.
“It's about providing the different conditions where all the teams want to do well.”
Asked whether they reassessed the situation after English batsmen tamed the Indian spin attack in Mumbai, Dhoni said: “Not really. We will stick to tracks that offer turn. It's like Australia and England winning games in there conditions but they stick to the speciality there. It's the same for sub-continental teams.”
Hinting at two-pace attack, Dhoni said, “I don't think there will be much help for the spinners initially. At this time of the year, fast bowlers get some swing at the start of the play and towards the end. Fast bowlers will be really crucial.”
The India captain maintained that first innings lead will be crucial.
“It's important to take a first innings lead. It sets up the game. It's very important to be at par in the first two or three days as we have seen the games changes in the last two days. Then we see what kind of wear and tear.”
Asked on the inconsistent form of Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir, he said: “We have a side that relies a lot on the openers. But we don't want to put any extra pressure on them, we want them to enjoy the game. Viru is someone who loves to express himself. It takes a matter of time.”
Facing criticism of late for his own form, the World Cup winning skipper said, “Especially when you have led the side for three years, you would get into the situation. You see both the sides of the coin. The most important thing is to choose the middle path. It's the most difficult thing to do as emotions get in. The bottomline is to stay in the middle.”
Asked whether the extra burden of wicketkeeping has bogged him down, he said: “It's very demanding but I don't really think it affects your game a lot. It's important to back what your strength is.
On slump in his batting form, he said, “In India, you get a lot of support when you do well and the people will try to pull you down when the team is not doing well. I am not really bothered. I am just trying to do to the best of my potential.”