Mohali was a good advertisement for Test cricket
Mahendra Singh Dhoni just can't stop raving about India's remarkable win over Australia at Mohali.
Despite winning an incredible 11 of his 17 Tests as captain, Dhoni had no qualms in admitting the Mohali triumph was the best as yet.
The Indian captain believed the said game was a good advertisement for Test cricket, the game's oldest and toughest format that faces the danger of losing out to its newly born cousin: the twenty20 version.
"Just imagine we were eight down with 90 odd runs still needed. More often than not one would think the game is over," gushed Dhoni, before going on to describe the mood in the Indian camp.
Image: Indian players celebrate after winning the Test
'The manner in which Ishant batted was great'
"The dressing room was filled with all the superstition that happens as a game gets closer. I was discussing on a topic with Virender Sehwag for close to 2 hours," explained Dhoni, adding,
"But the manner in which Ishant (Sharma) batted was great.
"You don't often see Test matches that go that close. It is one of the greatest matches I have ever played in." There was criticism from some quarters than Team India was a bowler short considering Ishant was injured for most of the first innings and the wicket seemed conducive for seam bowling.
"Most of the time in recent years we played with four bowlers and relied on part timers to do the additional bowling," said Dhoni, defending the team's decision.
"However, in the last couple of years someone or the other has stepped up and done the task for us," he added.
Image: Ishant Sharma
'We still need to improve in many areas'
Having secured such a memorable win won't it be difficult now for the captain to motivate his team for an encore?
"Being on the winning side gives plenty of motivation in itself," explained Dhoni.
"It is not difficult to regroup the team after a game like the one in Mohali.
"In fact, if we can have another match like Mohali (in Bangalore), it bodes well for Test cricket. When the game is result oriented, people come and watch it," he added.
It is often seen with Indian cricket when the team wins its flaws are conveniently ignored the deficiencies coming to the fore only when the team suffers a defeat. However, Dhoni is certain that there are at least a couple of areas where the team can't take things status quo.
"We still need to improve in many areas," explained Dhoni, before going onto the specifics.
"Our ground fielding, in particular, needs to improve," he pointed out, adding, "It helps the bowler considerably if the fielding is good.
Image: Pragyan Ojha reacts after winning the Mohali Test
'We can't afford to lose players every now and then'
"Also we have to take care of our many injury worries. We can't afford to lose players every now and then (referring to the recent spate of injuries)." Having said that, the Indian captain also expressed gratitude to his team-mates for standing by him and his decisions.
"Most captains these days take the lead in playing aggressive cricket and their views are supported by the entire team," explained Dhoni, adding, "I have got a side which has the grit and determination to do well for the country.
"This is a side that has gelled really well."
In two days time, Dhoni and his side will have yet another opportunity to justify their top rank, the Bangalore test being their next challenge.
Image: Ishant Sharma