MUMBAI — India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni relishes the sight of a visiting batsman at sea against the turning ball, prodding uncertainly and taking a hit to the rib cage.
It is an image he wants to see his spinners recreate against England next month.The ignominy of last year’s 4-0 whitewash in England, which cost India their world No 1 status, appears fresh on the mind of the Indian skipper who hinted on Wednesday that turning pitches await England in the four-match Test series starting in Ahmedabad on November 15.
“For a long time I have not seen an off-spinner bowling to a defensive batsman and hitting the rib cage,” Dhoni told reporters.
“It’s a very painful feeling but you enjoy it . . . this is the heaven for spinners.”
“World over, you have different wickets behaving differently. Naturally when you come to the sub-continent, you get turning tracks.”
The Indian captain, who has led India to both the Twenty20 and 50 overs World Cups, said he had not specifically requested turning pitches.
“It’s not a question of asking for certain kind of tracks. Ultimately, the groundsman knows the wicket best,” he said.
Former captain Sunil Gavaskar is among those who believe India’s job will not be easy against England in the absence of retired batting stalwarts Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman. However, Dhoni remains confident. — Reuters