We're close, We can turn it around: Dhoni

Melbourne, Dec 25: India might be 0-2 behind in the series but skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni has utmost belief that his team can turn the tables on Australia in the Boxing Day Test at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

"It is possible to turn things around. We have been competitive in the series so far," the Indian captain said Thursday.


"We have played good cricket right through the two Test matches apart from maybe 30-45 minutes where we have lacked a few things. If we can arrest those shortcomings, we can turn the tide. We feel that we are close but it will have to reflect in our performance."

A major reason of concern for India has been the inability of their bowlers to pick 20 wickets in overseas Tests. Dhoni said it is a mindset thing and it will change with experience.

"The mentality of our fast bowlers is different because we play more than 60 percent of our cricket in conditions where they don't bowl too many overs in a Test match," Dhoni said.

"When we go overseas, they only look for one thing - wickets. At times they try too many things. What we have tried to inculcate in them is that when you play overseas, especially with the Kookaburra ball, the most important thing after the 25th over is to be consistent with your line and length," the 33-year-old added.

"Ishant has learned it over the years with experience. The other bowlers have been playing Test cricket since only a year or so and they will get better as they play more matches. However, there has been a lot of improvement in their consistency," the captain said.

One bowler in the Indian squad who is capable of being consistent with his line and length is Bhuvneshwar Kumar. Unfortunately, he has had to miss the first two Tests due to an ankle injury.

"He has been bowling again. He even bowled in the nets during the second Test. He is fit and available for selection but Test match fitness is different. You have to see how much of a load you can take over the five days," Dhoni said.

While Dhoni did not mention the possibility of any change in the playing XI for the third Test, India's training session gave the impression that Suresh Raina might be in with a chance to make it.

Not only was he one of the first batsmen to have a hit in the nets but he also stood at second slip as coach Duncan Fletcher gave the cordon fielding practice.

Dhoni said he would like to have Raina in the side because he can also bowl some handy off-spinners.


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