M.S. Dhoni disputed the idea that three successive defeats were a wakeup call, stressing instead the importance of not panicking ahead of the fourth Test.
“We weren’t sleeping, and so we didn’t need a wakeup call,” said the Indian captain. “It’s important not to panic. The good sides don’t press the panic button quickly. We have to admit we were outplayed. Failures and challenges make life interesting. It’s a phase we are going through, and we are learning a lot from it.”
Asked what India needed to do to transfer pressure back onto England, Dhoni said, “We have to put the runs on the board. We are a side more known for our batting, and we need to score runs to put pressure on the opposition batting line-up.”
Dhoni said it was vital India didn’t turn desperate in the final Test.
Talking in the context of both preventing a clean-sweep and winning it for Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar, and V.V.S. Laxman, who aren’t likely to play together in England again, Dhoni said, “When you’re desperate the chances of you playing to potential are less.
“We have to break the match into small sessions and concentrate on doing well in these sessions without worrying about the result. I always say it is important to keep things simple and stick to the basics.
“We will stick to the gameplans we have, and given the quality in the side, more often than not we’ll get the results.”
STRAUSS FOR STRONG FINISH
Andrew Strauss reiterated England’s determination to finish the series strongly.
“There’s always the danger of taking the foot off the pedal,” said the England captain. “And I hope we don’t. That sort of goes against what we are about as a team. India will be looking to finish on a high note, and it’s up to us to stop that.”
Strauss said his team was better used to success than the England side of 2005 — and therefore better placed to continue what it had started.
“That win (against Australia) surprised us all. It was such a strong Australian side that it wasn’t until the end that we believed we could win. There has been a gradual evolution (since then). We have a lot of improvement left. It’s time to redouble our efforts, not a time to be satisfied. We are going to be judged by higher standards from now on.”
Both teams have fitness concerns ahead of the fourth Test. Praveen Kumar was hit on the right thumb when batting in the third Test.
He didn’t practise on Tuesday, but he did bowl in the nets on Wednesday.
For England, James Anderson tested his injured thigh in the nets. Strauss expected him to play, but added that England’s spearhead would be assessed on Thursday morning before a decision is made. Hindu