India cricket captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni has insisted that his team’s victory in the one-day international series over England is not an act of revenge following their disastrous summer tour.
“Revenge is a very strong word and should not be used in sport,” Dhoni told reporters after the world champions scored a five-wicket win in Mohali on Thursday night to take a 3-0 lead in the five-match series.
“On one hand we talk about the spirit of the game and on the other we talk about revenge. It should not be like that.”
Young batsman Ajinkya Rahane top-scored with 91 as India surpassed England’s challenging 298-4 with four balls to spare after Dhoni smashed two boundaries in the final over.
The series win came after a disastrous tour of England in July-September when India were blanked 4-0 in the Tests to concede the number one spot and also lost the one-dayers 3-0.
“I am quite happy with the performance of the team when it comes to the one-day format. Victory is always a good feeling,” said Dhoni, who led India to World Cup glory in April.
India won without seven top stars, including Sachin Tendulkar, who were part of the team that beat Sri Lanka in the World Cup final in Mumbai.
Dhoni, however, warned England to tone down their aggressive behaviour on the field, which earned the wrath of the umpires during the second game in New Delhi on Monday.
That match was marred by verbal exchanges between Indian batsmen and England’s fielders, and the tension also appeared to spill over on the field in Mohali.
“There were lots of gestures flowing around in the field when it came to the England side,” Dhoni said. “But I don’t think that strategy is working.
“It’s not only about ‘giving it’ to the opposition. You have to be fair.
“If our players are saying something to the opposition, which happens at times, I don’t want them to get really personal or say things that are not within the guidelines.
“A bit of chit-chat is fine, because that makes the game interesting. You don’t always want a friendly series, as long as things don’t get too personal.
“But I think they (England) should change the plan for the next two games,” the Indian captain said.
England fast bowler Tim Bresnan was quoted earlier this week as saying that his team was using verbal volleys to intimidate batsmen since Indian pitches offered no assistance to the bowlers.
“It’s part of the game,” Bresnan said. “We can’t really use the ball to intimidate as much as we would like, so we have to do other things to get into the batsman’s bubble, like a little bit of a word or a look or a stare.”
England captain Alastair Cook was, however, more concerned about trying to avoid a 5-0 whitewash.
“We prepared as well as we could have prepared, but just have not quite delivered,” Cook told reporters.
“But we’ve got two more games to go and need to pick ourselves up when we’ve already lost the series. That is the challenge.
“There was desperation out there to try to win, and we’ve got to keep that desperation for the next two games.”
The fourth one-dayer will be played in Mumbai on Sunday before the final game in Kolkata on October 25.
England will end the tour with a one-off Twenty20 international in Kolkata on Oct 29.