Special skills required to bat and bowl on turning tracks

I urge the readers not to curl their lips, for I say this because Dhoni went in with three spinners on a turner based on the past. He had seen batsmen like Rahul Dravid, VVS Laxman and Sourav Ganguly, who were extremely adept against spin. The victories on home turf were achieved due to their skills, to not only survive but also dominate even on rank turners.

updated: November 27, 2012 12:25 IST
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Sunil Gavaskar always reckoned that while one needs courage to play the faster bowlers, it takes a lot of skill to play against spinners, especially on a turner. This was proved true at the Wankhede Stadium where the England batsmen, especially Alastair Cook and Kevin Pietersen, showed considerable skill to upset MS Dhoni's plans.

Their methods, as similar as chalk and cheese, exposed the lack of temperament and ineffective gameplan of the Indian spinners. Cook frustrated them with his doggedness, and Pietersen caned the trio with his customary flamboyance. The remarkable feature of KP's innings was that he was playing his role for the team, and not looking to prove a point by grafting for runs.

The debatable decision of fielding three spinners was in a way blessed by providence, as the toss went in Dhoni's favour. But the advantage withered away after some very ordinary shot selection from the Indian batsmen. Their approach and mindset were intriguing. Contrary to expectations and the confidence exuded by Dhoni, it did appear that they were victims of lack of practice against quality spinners on dry surfaces.

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