Hyderabad: Matters are looking up for Indian captain MS Dhoni following big wins over Australia in Chennai and Hyderabad that have given the hosts an unassailable 2-0 series lead, but the man himself understands the need to remain grounded. Speaking to the media following India's innings-and-135-run win on Tuesday, Dhoni admitted to having been effected by the team's poor run of form in the last 20 months.
"It becomes tough. You start questioning yourself. That's the reason all of us are human beings and the only ones who say that they don't get bothered (by defeats) are the ones who lie," said Dhoni told reporters on Tuesday. "If you go through a tough situation, it's bound to happen. You will feel the pressure but at the end of the day, you want to do well for your country. In that scenario, nothing works for you but you have to remain focused and not let the extra negative thoughts to creep in."
Both Dhoni and India have seen a dramatic upswing against Australia following a tough past few months, during which they were beaten 2-1 in the Tests against England and 2-1 by Pakistan in the ODIs. Following the 3-2 ODI win over England in January, India have crushed a poor Australian team by eight wickets and an innings and 135 runs. With this win, Dhoni has become India's most successful Test captain with 22 victories to move past Sourav Ganguly.
Instead of getting carried away with his notable achievement, Dhoni termed the achievement as "over-rated and hyped". "The way I see the dressing room now, I don't see them [players] bothered about who has won how many games. What's important is to win Test matches. The more consistent we are, better it is for the side. Numbers don't really matter to us," he said.
India's success in the last two Tests has owed heavily to the role of the three spinners employed. In Chennai, spin accounted for all 20 wickets and in Hyderabad the slow bowlers took 14 of the 19 Australian wickets to fall. For Dhoni, this was a matter-of-fact situation owing to India's strength and familiarity with the conditions.
"I am always asked a question in England and Australia about why we don't prepare sporting wickets. One has to realise that we play 80 per cent of our cricket at home and we have to be really good in those conditions," he said. "And then when we play abroad, the conditions are extremely different and that's a challenge. If every wicket becomes same, then Test cricket won't be challenging."
The next Test starts in Mohali on March 14.