India’s skipper MS Dhoni is confident that the current team is almost ready to compete at the highest level. Currently, the Indians are down 2-0 after the end of first two matches of the 4 match Test series. India might face a 4-0 whitewash yet again but the current team has already put on a better show than the much vaunted 2011-2012 side, which had batting greats like Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman and still surrendered the last India Test squad to visit Australia 4-0.
Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s fresh young crop of players may yet also be swept 4-0 after the remaining Tests in Melbourne and Sydney, but they will at least go down fighting. They battled for victory down to the wire in the first Test in Adelaide last weekend and were still hammering away when the Australians were chasing down 128 runs for victory at the Gabba on Saturday, taking six wickets before conceding defeat.
“More often than not, with targets of only 125 to 130 runs, there’s a tendency to throw in the towel. But it’s important you fight the opposition until the last run is scored and then, whatever the result, you accept it. It was good to see the fast bowlers still running in and giving 100 percent and we took a few wickets. There’s a lot of learnings for the youngsters, if we had an extra 50, 60, 70 runs, another couple of partnerships for 80 or 90 runs, it can really matter,” Dhoni told the reporters.
India will always take batting and spin-bowling somewhat for granted, however, and what has excited Dhoni in the series so far has been his pace bowlers. Led by the experienced Ishant Sharma, pacemen Mohammed Shami, Varun Aaron and Umesh Yadav have all caused Australia problems over the first two Tests.
“I think there are plenty of positives because we have been able to take wickets. You can see there are plenty of areas where we are improving but we haven’t crossed the line yet. It a bit like a wine that is brewing, we need to give it a bit more time. Once they cross that line and start harnessing that aggression in the right channels, you’ll see plenty of good results from this side,” Dhoni concluded.
It will be interesting how India performs in the remaining two tests.