Ajit Wadekar has backed Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s decision not to press for victory in the third and final Test against the West Indies at Dominica. Dhoni has been widely criticised for not attempting a win when India required 86 off 90 balls. But the former India captain who led an experienced team to England in 1971 and deployed leg spinner Bhagwat Chandrasekhar at The Oval to notch a first series on England soil said: “In the circumstances Dhoni did the right thing. India was leading the series 1-0 and heading to England.
If India had clinched the second Test and series at Barbados, Dhoni, like any captain would have continued. He had made a very bold decision to declare at Barbados in an attempt to win. Here at Dominica, Rahul Dravid and V.V. S.Laxman were in the middle, but they did not look very comfortable. Probably it would have created a panic-like situation in the dressing room if one of them had got out. It’s was not worth taking the risk. If India had lost the third Test and drawn the series 1-1, it would have been a setback before the series against England., It would have been a setback to the Indian team’s confidence.’’,
India is all set to begin the four-Test series against at Lord’s on July 21 and Wadekar foresees a like event unfolding this time, just as it transpired in 1971. “We beat the West Indies 1-0 in 1971 and went on to beat England 1-0 at `The Oval’. “ India is going to play only one warm-up (against Somerset) before the first Test. I would have preferred to have three or four matches. But then this Indian team is so much used to travelling and playing. They are mentally prepared. They get acclimatised quickly and get used to the conditions quickly.’’, Wadekar felt Dhoni’s team will be very positive at Lord’s. “Dhoni is a cool and calm captain. Moreover he has Duncan Fletcher to offer sufficient information about the England players. Fletcher’s presence will be advantageous.
Actually Dhoni would not require so much details, he’s so matured. They will play to their strength. Cricketers are ambitious and like to perform at Lord’s, such is the thrilling atmosphere there.’’, Always in touch with the game, Wadekar is impressed with Ishant Sharma’s remarkable comeback in the West Indies. “It’s tremendous. He could turn out to be the match winner in England. We have a good seam attack and an experienced spinner in Harbhajan Singh. Leg spinner Amit Mishra is also bowling well. But the bowlers will need support from the fielders and the batsmen who have to put enough runs on the board.’’ Hindu