West Indies vs India 2016: MS Dhoni predicts spinners to make huge impact in the West Indies
MS Dhoni believes spinners from both sides will play a key role in deciding the outcome of the four-Test series between India and West Indies which begins with the first Test in Antigua from Thursday. The former Test skipper, who quit the longest format of the game in late 2014, said that though he does miss representing India in the 5-day format, it’s not a decision that he regrets one bit.
Despite West Indies’ impressing in the shortest formats of the game recently, as was evident with their 2016 ICC World T20 win and the fighting performances in the tri-series involving Australia and South Africa, the hosts come into the series as underdogs against Virat Kohli’s men.
Dhoni also added his weight to the thought claiming that the Indian side is strong in all departments of the game.
“The more the competition better it is. It’s good that finally, we have a pool of 8-10 bowlers who are pushing for selection. If I look at a year back, during an ODI series against South Africa, there were a few bowlers who were injured,” Dhoni told media persons at a promotional event.
“And we have bowlers with all areas covered. If you want pace we have that. If you want swing, we have that. Of course, we have to be careful about injury management.”
“We have a settled top six batting. There can be one or two new faces but more or less that’s how the mix works. They have also played outside the subcontinent and have the necessary experience,” Dhoni added.
He also supported Indian batsman Ajinkya Rahane’s view that he expects the wickets to be used for the Test matches to be on the slower side and believes the spinners will have a big role to play in the series.
“I think wickets will be slower in West Indies but you never know. I think spinners will have a huge role to play,” he said.
Dhoni is enjoying some much-needed rest after playing almost non-stop T20 cricket from the beginning of the year while he also an inexperienced Indian side on their short tour of Zimbabwe in June. The 34-year-old said that having time off now has allowed him to look after his body better as well as help him spend some quality time with his family.
“Obviously, you miss playing Test cricket. But I don’t regret it. Look, for cricketers, it’s a passion or (just) call it a bug that stays with you forever. It never leaves you. That’s why you are all these 40 and 50 plus cricketers who come back for commentary, coaching junior teams.
“As far as I am concerned, this gives me a chance to spend time with my family,” said Dhoni.
“The time away from cricket has given me a lot of time to plan my off-season. I hit the gym more, do a lot of running, taking care of my body. Now, after 30, you need to be careful of your body. In the last 10 years of extensive travelling, I have abused my body a lot.
“It’s because of eating habits as it’s more about what you intake that creates a problem. So I have been taking care of my body,” concluded Dhoni.