Dhoni looks for India to level Test series

Dhoni said his team never recovered from their abject 191 in the first innings after winning the toss and then conceding a massive 468-run innings deficit as Australia amassed 659 for four declared.

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Sydney, January 6 (AFP):
Defiant captain M.S. Dhoni said India were looking to level the series after another heavy Test loss Friday saw them relinquish all hope of a first-ever series triumph in Australia.Dhoni said he saw some positive signs out of the wreckage of the Sydney Test mauling.

The tourists crashed to an innings and 68-run loss in the second Test in Sydney following their 122-run drubbing in Melbourne.

India have two Tests remaining in Perth and Adelaide to save face as Michael Clarke's Australia team chase a 4-0 series whitewash.

"We have lost the chance of winning the series but still with two more Test matches to go we can level the series so that's what we're looking to do," Dhoni said.

Dhoni said his team never recovered from their abject 191 in the first innings after winning the toss and then conceding a massive 468-run innings deficit as Australia amassed 659 for four declared.

"We didn't put enough runs on the board. To win Test matches, of course taking 20 wickets is very important," he said.

"But also we need to give that cushion, having those extra runs on the board so that the bowlers can plan the opposition out."

Dhoni said he could see some positive signs out of the wreckage of the Sydney Test mauling.

"It is a bit of a worry but the good thing is in the second innings we saw the batsmen score runs," he said.

"It was not good enough to defend the Test match but what we have seen in the last couple of Test matches is everybody has scored at least a 50 which gives us an indication that we need to convert those 50s into big innings and put runs on the board."

"We need to keep it really simple and score big hundreds and we need to get wickets."

India scored more than 300 for the first time in an away Test since The Oval Test against England last August with 400 but it was still nowhere near enough to make Australia bat a second time in the one-sided Sydney Test.

"In patches we have done well. We have got the opposition out," he said.

"In the last innings we have seen we can score 400-odd runs. We need to get everything together."

"We need to do well as a bowling unit and we need to bat well as a betting unit and come off good fielding performances. We need to get it all together."

Dhoni denied that his decorated batsmen were now too old for Test cricket.

"Not really. With age comes plenty of experience. They're the best that we have got as of now," he said.

"Hopefully it will get better and we'll score more runs in the coming two Test matches."

Dhoni said no blame for India's below-par performances should be attached to team coach Duncan Fletcher.

"What we need to do is not just blame one individual. As a team we need to perform. It's very important to hunt in packs rather than individuals," he said of the former England team coach.


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