India can be No. 1 Test nation by a huge margin by end of season, says MS Dhoni

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India can be No. 1 Test nation by a huge margin by end of season, says MS Dhoni

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SportsCafe Desk


Former Test captain MS Dhoni feels that India has been “shaping up well in the ultimate format” of Test cricket after having done well in ODI and T20 formats earlier. Dhoni credited the stable batting line-up over the last two years and the current crop of fast bowlers for the transformation.

India had won the World Cup in 2011, but Test success in foreign shores had eluded the team under MS Dhoni's captaincy. India's greatest limited overs captain had hung up his Test boots in the midst of the Australia series in 2014 paving the way for Virat Kohli to take over. Under Kohli, the team has notched up a few notable overseas performances, albeit against weak Sri Lanka and West Indies sides.

Asked about the current shape of Indian Test cricket after the second T20 against West Indies was washed out, Dhoni said, "I think the Indian Test team is shaping up well. It seemed we were more settled in T20 and ODI but now our team had a good batting experience. If you notice, for the last 2 and a half years, we had the same batting unit, barring one or two changes. So you learn a lot. Test remains the ultimate format," on Sunday.

"On top of it, one plus point is that all our fast bowlers are fit now and the way they are bowling. We have 10 proper fast bowlers and it's an asset. Now we will be playing a lot of matches, so we can rotate our fast bowlers if we want to," he added.

MSD also hoped that India reach the No.1 Test nation spot that they lost to rivals Pakistan after holding for only a few days. He believed the next reign at the top for India will be longer.

"As far as performance is concerned, the talent and experience of the team has started to get reflected in the performance and in the times to come, this season we will be playing 13 Tests and I think by the end of it if everything goes well, touchwood, we will be the number one team in the world and the gap between the first and second team will be substantial," he added.

Speaking about the T20 series, Dhoni credited the inclusion of Amit Mishra as the reason India were able to dismiss the World T20 champions for a low score after the pitch had yielded humongous scores in both innings in the previous match.

"I don't think the wicket changed a lot. It is same as the last wicket. It is the exposure that they had in the last game, it gave them the ability to go back and think about their own game plan and often when there is no break between two matches, it actually helps the bowlers to quickly go back and plan," said the 35-year-old from Ranchi.

"It is the execution that matters and I think it was great. Addition of a spinner also paid off well. Mishra bowled really well. I felt it was the whole bowling unit who could restrict them to 140, it was a brilliant effort," he added.

Also read:The story of how Pakistan pipped India to the No.1 spot in ICC Test rankings on Monday

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