Blasted for leading India to unsuccessful tours of South Africa and New Zealand, skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni has said he considers the "process" of building a good side "more important than results". Looking for rare positives from recent defeats, Dhoni believes the process of grooming youngsters in the side in on the right track, even if the results prove otherwise. The team arrived from New Zealand on Wednesday night. (Read: Vanquished India return from horror tour of NZ)
After surrendering to New Zealand in the ODI as well as the two-Test series, Team India has come under a barrage of criticism with Dhoni bearing the brunt of the ire. He has now led India in 14 overseas Tests without winning a single one of them. Instead, Dhoni said after the end of the second Test in Wellington on Monday that his side had improved steadily.
"It is very important to statistically say this is what has happened and this is where we have improved. But overall if you see our performance has been good," Dhoni told reporters. "I am someone who speaks more about the process rather than thinking about the results. If you compare those two series (8-0) with the last couple we have played, there is plenty of improvement. That's what it's all about," Dhoni explained. (Related: Dhoni hunts for rare positives)
That India's last overseas Test win came against West Indies in Kingston three years ago means the 'collective improvement of the team' is hardly translating into triumphs on the field. Since the win in West Indies in 2011, India have played 14 Test matches in West Indies, England, Australia, South Africa and New Zealand (in that order), and have won none of them. This horrible streak includes the infamous 8-0 losing run as well as two recent losses in South Africa and now in New Zealand, while four matches were drawn. (Read: Dhoni's overseas captaincy is obnoxious, says Ganguly)
Dhoni though says it is the exposure of playing abroad which counts. "There are lots of positives from these two tours (South Africa and New Zealand) and we have important tours to England and Australia coming up later in the year. It is vital that we gain from this exposure," he said.
That the Indian team made a quiet return home on Wednesday night only showed that fans do not think too highly of Dhoni's 'process of exposing' his players on tours abroad.
(With PTI inputs)