Monday, December 7, 2009

Dhoni rues lack of Test matches next year

Mumbai, Dec 6 (IANS) Indian skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni says playing fewer Test matches next year is a concern as it means that maintaining their new status of world's top Test team will be tough.

India played only six Test matches this year and, according to the Future Tours Program (FTP), they are scheduled to play a two-match series in Bangladesh in January. After that India does not play any Test until October when New Zealand comes here for a three-match series.

This is the first time that India has achieved the coveted number one position in the Tests, only the third team after South Africa and Australia to surge to the top of the ladder since the Test Championship was introduced in May 2001.

'It is a bit of a concern as we play only two Test matches in the next six months. It will be tough for us to maintain this position,' Dhoni said after India beat Sri Lanka by an innings and 24 runs to claim the series 2-0 and also the No. 1 Test ranking.

Dhoni said he would like to play more Tests echoing Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid.
'I can't do anything about the schedule. It is good to play Test cricket. But we are here to play whatever format of cricket we are asked to play.'

'We hardly get time for ourselves so there is no time to complain. We would rather celebrate the moment rather than think about what we should be doing next.'

Dhoni praised coach Gary Kirsten for his contribution to the team.
'It was a constant process for us,' Dhoni said.

'We were playing with the same team for a longer period and it helped. It is a result of good preparation and execution over the last 18-20 months.'

'I think the real tough task now is to maintain this performance. When we are pushed to the wall, we come out with some special performances.'

Dhoni said the way India dominated Sri Lanka in the series was terrific.
'It was a terrific performance. Every batsman, who got in, in this match did his job, especially Virender Sehwag. We had a big total and could put pressure with close-in fielders. Zaheer (Khan) is back in the rhythm and it was good to see the fast bowlers do well in India. Our fielding was good. I think we caught nearly everything that came our way,' he said.

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