The Indian Cricket team will start its English tour this week where they will play England in a 5 match test series. The test series will start from 9th July and prior to that India are to play 2 warm up matches there. Ahead of the England tour, the Indian skipper said in a press conference in Mumbai yesterday that the 2-month long tour will be a tough challenge for the Indian team. The Indian side is relatively young and many of the players do not possess that much international experience.
India will play five Tests, five ODI matches and one T20I during July-September 2014. India’s last tour to England was in 2011 where they lost to England 4-0 in a 4-match test series. The last series was a sheer humiliating one. Indian team will definitely try to prove their point this time and captain cool himself expects the same.
Dhoni said, “During the 2011 England, we had 8-9 injuries. It put lot of pressure on us and we didn’t have part timers with us then. 2011 was a difficult period for us. We lost the series 7-0 and later lost in Australia also.”
Dhoni said that the team has learnt from previous tours, and he added, “There are quite a few things we learned from those tours. It will be a challenge for all members of the tour. We have 18 member squad and its a long series. The squad looks big but we needed it because last time we lost too many players due to injuries. It is important to have good practice session before the tour starts.”
On being asked about the English soils and weather and how Indian team are going to adjust there, the skipper said, “The tracks in England depend a lot on the conditions. If it’s overcast, then the ball will swing. It is very difficult to replace Sehwag at the opening slot and Rahul bhai (Rahul Dravid) at no. 3. It will be a good challenge for these boys. They have got good exposure now in past two series.”
Even Dhoni failed in the series back in 2011, though he emerged to be the highest run-getter in the ODI series following that. In 5 matches, Dhoni scored 236 runs at an average of 78.66. He also stated that he will be taking an aggressive approach this time.
He said, “As far as my batting is concerned, I need to be far more aggressive. When I am aggressive, I am far better than when I try to play like a proper batsman. I intend to go for my shots from the first ball. I have to back my instincts. Six to seven batsman when you play, it is very important to back my strength and not think too much about the situation. It is very important that I back my strength and play aggressive strokes and score runs rather than taking my time out.”
The Indian team will move to England early to play the warm up games. Thus, they will have good time around to get themselves adjusted to the English conditions.
Dhoni finally stated, “For quite a few players it’s a first tour to England but have had exposure in South Africa and New Zealand and have a few games behind them. It’s good we are going early so that we can get into the groove. It’s a long series and not very usual to play 5-Test match series. Overall, it’s looking good. We have got enough time to prepare.”