Dhoni admits gulf in class
Mahendra Singh Dhoni acknowledged England’s superiority in the npower Test series, which Andrew Strauss’ side won with a game to spare today.
The hosts thrashed India by an innings and 242 runs at Edgbaston to go 3-0 up, following victories at Lord’s and Trent Bridge.
The win also ensured England will take over from the tourists at the top of the ICC Test rankings immediately after this rubber.
Dhoni pinpointed India’s batting - they have not made 300 in six attempts - as they key reason for their first Test series defeat since he took over as captain in late 2008.
“Most of the sessions were won by them,” he said. “More often than not we were outplayed. We have been completely outplayed in the series so far.”
He continued: “You have to be at your best when you’re playing against top nations.
“Our batting hasn’t clicked as it should have; we haven’t been able to put on par runs on board.”
On this tour India’s experienced batting line-up has rarely come to terms with England’s outstanding seamers, who again shone today as the tourists were dismissed for 244.
Dhoni realises his batsmen must hone their techniques accordingly, although he was realistic about what his tail-enders can achieve in foreign conditions.
“A bit of technical adjustment is required,” he observed. “But you wouldn’t see Sreesanth batting as a Bradman only because he wants to bat like one.
“You need to be yourself and slightly tune your batting if needed for the conditions, like a formula one car depends on the track.”
Dhoni refused to point the finger at new coach Duncan Fletcher, whose six and a half years coaching England familiarised him with conditions here.
“Duncan has gelled well with us,” Dhoni said. “He has done whatever he could to prepare us well.
“The opposition, again I will say, has played better cricket consistently.”
Having suffered increasingly heavy margins of defeat in this series, India go into the last Test urgently needing to reverse that trend.
Dhoni urged his side to put this loss behind them ahead of the Kia Oval finale, which starts on Thursday.
“Whether you lose by four runs or 400 runs, you think about the right things which well help you,” he said.
“With one Test to go, it’s important not to think of margin but to think what to do to improve the kind of cricket we are playing.
He added: “We are optimistic. We are trying to give our best on the field. If opposition outplays us, fair enough.
“We need to forget the last three games; we must take the final as the one-Test series and not carry the burden of last three Tests.”