India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni expects improved showing from England in Mumbai

Last Updated: 22/11/12 3:23pm

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Mahendra Singh Dhoni: led India to nine-wicket win over England in series opener

Mahendra Singh Dhoni: led India to nine-wicket win over England in series opener

Sky Bet

India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni remains wary of England's entire batting line-up - not just his opposite number Alastair Cook - in the second Test, starting in Mumbai on Friday.

England were bowled out for 191 in the first innings of the series opener in Ahmedabad and it was only Cook's 176 second time around that saved the tourists from heavier than a nine-wicket defeat.

"He is someone who plays spin really well. The way Cook bats, he treats each ball according to its merit," said Dhoni. "He doesn't use his feet very often, but loves to go on the front foot very close to the pitch of the ball.

"I think he's someone who gives himself a bit more time, and doesn't get rattled by the turn or the bounce.

"It is a valuable wicket. But I won't say it's the most important, because through their whole line-up they've got players who can really score a lot of runs at a good pace."

India are set to make one enforced change from their winning team, with pace bowler Umesh Yadav a likely absentee because of a sore back.

Dhoni, meanwhile, is expecting England to shuffle their pack - and certainly select Monty Panesar as a second specialist spinner.

"England's attack looked quite balanced," he said of the formula of three seamers, one spinner and all-rounder Samit Patel's left-arm orthodox which the tourists used last week.

"Monty is a very good left-arm spinner, and may get a bit of turn and more bounce (here) compared to some of the other subcontinental wickets.

"I think his role will be crucial. It will be interesting to see who they will omit from the side - I suppose one of the all-rounders who can bat will be out."


Sachin Tendulkar may be about to play Test cricket on his home ground for the final time - but Dhoni is not banking on it.

At the age of 39, Tendulkar's next opportunity of a Test at the Wankhede Stadium after facing England will be at least two years away.

One of the most enticing prospects therefore, for the Mumbai crowd over the five days, will be the possibility of their favourite son adding a 101st international hundred to mark the significant occasion.

"When it comes to Sachin, I think the best thing to do is not to speculate," said Dhoni.

"He may come back and play a few more Test matches here. So let's wait and watch, and enjoy the kind of cricket he plays."

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