Dhoni changed the game, says Michael Clarke

India rejigged their own combination, playing two offspinners in order to prey on the minds of the left-handers in the Australian line-up. Clarke, however, wasn't too fussed by that, saying that whether it was Harbhajan Singh or Pragyan Ojha that played, Australia needed to bat better.

updated: February 26, 2013 15:01 IST
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Chennai: More than 90 minutes after the Test had finished, Michael Clarke was still on the Chepauk outfield, deep in conversation with Shane Warne, former teammate and mentor. At one point during his post-match press conference, when asked about the possibility of drafting more spinners into the squad, he had joked: "Warney's in town, we'll see if he's available."

An eight-wicket defeat was no laughing matter though, and Clarke was quick to pay tribute to his counterpart, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, whose herculean 224 meant that the last three Indian first-innings wickets added 200. "I think there are areas in both teams you need to focus on," he said, after India had needed less than a session on the final day to wrap up the match. "There are areas in the Indian team we didn't attack enough. If we'd got 150 or 200 on the board [for them to chase], we might have been able to expose, or at least seen how they played on a deteriorating wicket. A lot of credit has to go to India. They outplayed us. MS Dhoni certainly led the charge. I thought Virat Kohli was outstanding as well – his hundred – but Dhoni changed the game."

As much as the runs he scored, it was the rate at which Dhoni made them that hurt Australia, giving India's spinners plenty of time to make inroads on a crumbling pitch. "It certainly had an impact on the game," said Clarke. "It contributed a lot to India's success in this Test match. But like I said, Kohli made a fantastic hundred. Ashwin got seven [wickets] in the first, and five in the second. That's three very good performances. We were outplayed."

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