Dhoni looking at positives from Edgbaston

MS Dhoni is happy with the way the Indian bowlers performed against England in the first Test match at Edgbaston.

Mahendra Singh Dhoni was speaking on the sidelines of the launch event of 'Run Adam' - a 360-degree sports tech-ecosystem.   -  Shahi Ashiwal

Indian batsmen have drawn flak from the cricketing fraternity for losing the plot in Edgbaston and going down to England in the first Test. But Mahendra Singh Dhoni is looking at the positives.

The former India captain — who firmly believes that to win a Test match, bowlers need to scalp 20 wickets — is happy that India's bowlers could trouble the England batsmen.

“To win a test match you need wickets and that’s the only answer. It doesn’t matter how well you bat or how well you play for five days. If you are taking 20 wickets, you can win a Test match,” Dhoni said on Tuesday, on the sidelines of the launch event of 'Run Adam' - a 360-degree sports tech-ecosystem. Dhoni has a stake of 25 per cent in the tech company.

He heaped praises on India captain Virat Kohli, who fought a lone battle in the first Test. “Virat is the best and he has already reached a status where he is close to a legend stage. I am happy for him and the way he has batted. He has been brilliant in the last few years. He has taken the team forward and that's what you want from a leader. All the best to him,” Dhoni said. He appears confident about India’s chances in the remainder of the Test series.

Dhoni has also put an end to the speculations over his cricketing future. A few weeks back, questions were raised on raised whether Dhoni would finally feature in the 2019 World Cup as he was caught on camera, collecting the match ball from the field umpire after the last ODI against England.

But Dhoni clarifies that he took the ball to discuss a thing or two with India’s bowling coach, Bharath Arun. “You have to keep working on what’s happening. That was to see why we aren’t getting enough reverse swing because we will be playing the World Cup in England and what is it that we have to do to get reverse swing going. That's very important,” he said.

“The opposition is getting it, we should also get it at some point or the other. I requested the umpire if I could get the ball and I gave it to the bowling coach and told him how we can get if stuffed up so that we could get a bit of reverse swing from it,” he said, adding: “That will help the fast bowlers get yorkers from the 40th over and that would help us restrict the opposition team from getting too many runs in the last 10 overs.”

Dhoni welcomes Sports ministry move

While the preparation for the World Cup is on his mind, Dhoni also backs union sports and youth affairs minister, Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore’s decision to give more importance to sports at the school-level.

On Monday, Rathore stated that school syllabus will soon be reduced to accommodate sports, and Dhoni admits that sports does teach a lot to youngsters. “It will be interesting to see what the parents think about reducing the syllabus because education is very important. But sport does teach you a lot in life. School days is the right area to push the youngsters to play more sport,” he said.

“When I was in class VI or VII, I had no clue whether I will become a cricketer or a footballer, or an athlete. In between, there was a phase when parents were not keen on pushing kids to sport, and focus was on studies. 90 per cent marks was considered very good, but now, 90 per cent is just another number. Had I even studied for 24 hours a day, 90 per cent is not something I would have got at any point of time. I was good at sports, that something really helped. Schooldays are very important part of life and teaches you a lot of things,” he said.

One of India’s most successful captains, Mahendra Singh Dhoni also believes that it is important to push every youngster to take up sports. “Be it, mentally or physically, sport teaches a lot to the students and that actually helps in practical life. Sports should play a big role in students’ life and everyone should be pushed to it,” Dhoni said.