first_imgIndia captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni admitted that five straight losses overseas have hit the “belief of the team” but said that his boys are capable of bouncing back in the Sydney Test against Australia beginning Tuesday.Dhoni felt it would be “premature” to write India off after the 122-run loss in Boxing Day Test at Melbourne.”That is what you think (on writing India off in the series),” Dhoni told reporters at the pre-match press conference at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG).”If you see the kind of players we have got, that will be a very premature statement to make. What we have seen is, we have always bounced back and the Australian team will have to keep the pressure on the batting line-up and the bowlers. It is just that we have not performed in the first Test, and we will look to improve in the second.”Dhoni said the five straight losses affected the morale of team but the players have learnt from each mistake made in the past.”It does affect it (the belief) a bit, but it is not something to get bogged down about because we all know the reasons as to what exactly happened.””You learn a lot from the mistakes you make. So we are looking at the positives. In the last five Test matches abroad that we have lost, we have still had plenty of positives in those particular games,” said Dhoni.Gautam Gambhir and Virender Sehwag failed to provide a good start at Melbourne with the southpaw struggling in both innings. Dhoni reiterated that India must start well to put pressure on Australia.advertisement”Opening is a very crucial thing for us. Whenever we have done well, we have relied a lot on the opening pair. We don’t really want to put pressure on them, because if you see, Sehwag is the kind of batsman who loves to go out there and play his strokes and looks to put pressure on the opposition. Gautam equally complements Sehwag because he is someone who takes his time to get in. But if it is in his area, he loves to play his strokes. So overall, both batsmen really complement each other,” he said.The skipper expected the pitch to assist pacers on the first three days and turn thereafter. India, unlike Australia, once again did not announce the playing eleven a day before the game. Dhoni said he preferred naming the team on the day of the game as it keeps everyone on their toes.”I always like to announce the team on match day because I want all to be ready for Test match in case of a last-minute injury. Everyone is fit to play here and it is a big positive for us.”The hype around Sachin Tendulkar scoring his 100th hundred in the 100th Test at the SCG is getting more intense. Dhoni maintained the frenzy did not affect the team, including the master blaster himself, and rather called it as a “big distraction” for the media.”Well, he is always close to a milestone. If you see his career in the last three years, whatever he has done, somehow he has been very close to a milestone, whether he is playing the most number of ODIs or Test matches or the 100th hundred or all the things. Playing for 21-22 years and being at the top always, it is bound to happen.””I don’t think he personally thinks about it (the hundred) a lot. Of course, the quicker he achieves it, it will ease off whatever the so-called pressure is on him. He doesn’t really talk about it and it never feels as if he is under any sort of pressure,” Dhoni said.last_img