Nothing wrong in exploiting home conditions: Dhoni

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='' class='caption'> India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni said there was nothing wrong in exploiting the home advantage by preparing spin-friendly tracks.

Updated: February 13, 2010 10:48 IST
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Amid brouhaha over the Eden Gardens pitch, India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni said there was nothing wrong in exploiting the home advantage by preparing spin-friendly tracks.

A controversy erupted after India lost the first Test and BCCI reportedly sent an SOS to CAB for preparing a turning track for the second Test.

The Cricket Association Bengal though said they have prepared a sporting track for the crucial game, the outcome of which will have a bearing on India's status as number team.

Dhoni is of the view that a turning pitch could also be called a sporting track as it gives both bowlers and batsmen equal chances to excel.

"I think a big emphasis is being given on the sporting wicket. Nowhere it's written that there should not be any grass for a sporting wicket or bounce for fast bowlers."

"Sporting wicket according to me is where you challenge the batsmen and at the same time there is something for the batters. I think when there is a turning track it is challenging," Dhoni said after team practice.

The India skipper also said that every country has a unique element to exploit and for India it was spin.

"Every country specialises in something. When you go to South Africa you see bounce and seam movement. You go New Zealand and you would see a lot of swing. And we are special because the ball turns and there is bounce for the spinners. Of course, skills are required to play spin," he said.

On his assessment of the 22-yard-strip, Dhoni said it did not look to assist spin at least on the first two days and indicated that the hosts would go with a three-way pace attack with Raina making for a debut.

"There is a bit of grass on the wicket. I think the seamers will get a bit of help. There is no pavilion at one side so you can see a bit of breeze going across. I think there will be a bit of help for spinners later.

"There is a possibility (three pacers and debut for Raina) but we will have to wait till tomorrow. If your batters are not performing and you go with five bowlers then your batting line-up becomes weak. We are always being comfortable with four bowlers.

"It's a tough call for us. It would have been easier to have a good all-rounder in your side but we don't really have that luxury. We have to be very careful about that," he said. Dhoni said they will fight hard to square the series.

"It's the challenges that make the life interesting. We are looking forward to coming back in the series and doing well. If it was so easy then it would not have been called International cricket. We are trying to level the series here," he said.

On being asked if batting was India's weak link, Dhoni said it is not fair to blame batsmen alone for the defeat in the first Test.

"We have not batted that well. You are expected to do well when there is reverse swing or facing the top bowlers of the world. It's not about blaming just the batsmen or bowlers.

It's a team sport. You need bowlers who can take 20 wickets or batsmen who can score runs. I won't see it's our weak link.

"It's a matter of time. In cricket luck also plays a role. (Amit) Mishra had quite a few narrow misses. It's a game of skill and a bit of luck," Dhoni said.

The India captain also welcomed the inclusion of a fit-again VVS Laxman in the side.

"He is an important player of our batting line-up. It's good to have him back in the side. He is one of those batsmen who rotate the strike and capable of getting the boundaries."

Dhoni said toss played a crucial role in the first match in Nagpur where India suffered a humiliating loss by an innings and six runs.

"One thing really important was the toss (in Nagpur). As the day progressed, the wicket got slower and slower. The first day was the best day for batters. The pressure really mounted on us after that. Toss was a bit crucial."

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