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MS Dhoni: Playing outside India will expose young players

MS Dhoni © AFP
MS Dhoni admitted his side had a tough time in South Africa © AFP

New Delhi: Jan 5, 2014

Mahendra Singh Dhoni said on Monday that Team India will be benefited with the upcoming overseas tours, which will help the young players to get more exposure and settle down.

“I think the process is more important. The last couple of series before the South African series were I can’t even say a decent or a bad one, it can go worse than that, but the good thing is that at least we know the players are there. We had a lot of good sessions in South Africa,” Dhoni said.

“It’s a process where we have to improve and also the fact that now we will be continuously playing out of India, so it will give more exposure to the players. Most of the players, who are part of the side barring a few, they have not played, may be, more than five Test matches outside India. I know they will take some time but the overall performance [in South Africa] was good,” he added.

Dhoni admitted that one bad session in Durban cost them the second Test during the tour of South Africa. The Indians lost both the ODI and Test series on their tour at the end of last year, losing the two-match Test series 1-0 and three-match One-Day International (ODI) series 2-0.

“Yes, we had some tough times. We had a bad session. We had one really bad session because of which we were on the losing side,” he said.

Critics have often questioned Indian bowlers’ ability to take 20 wickets on foreign soil and Dhoni said it’s one area where the team needs to improve.  It was, after all, the fast bowlers’ inability to dismiss the South African batsmen twice on a helpful pitch at Wanderers that deprived India of a Test win.

The inclusion of pacers Ishwar Pandey and Varun Aaron in the touring squad of New Zealand has made one thing clear that the team management is looking out for bowlers who can take 20 wickets in Tests.

“We have got the same amount of talent. We have bowlers who can take 20 wickets but still this is one area where we need to improve. I think on the wickets that are helpful we have done well. Our bowlers have done exceptionally well.  Outside India, at times, you get wickets where we have to hit the deck hard and that goes completely opposite to what our bowlers actually bowl,” he said.

“Here, I am talking about majority of bowlers, that’s one area where we have to learn. We have seen in the past also, if there’s help, then we will get 20 wickets, we have to make sure we get them. That’s one area where we have to improve a bit. But looking at the lot of bowlers that we have got, definitely it seems that they have the potential to take 20 wickets in Test matches,” he signed off.

(With inputs from PTI)

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