India must handle Australia sledging better says Dhoni

 

India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni has labelled Australian fans as "aggressive"
with their taunts but says his players have to be smarter when reacting to such
provocations.

Speaking ahead of the third Test in Perth, which starts tomorrow, Dhoni said players like Ishant Sharma and Virat Kohli, who have both made obscene gestures to the public in the last week, needed to find a way to react to being goaded that would actually turn the public in their favour.

"There's somebody who starts something and more often than not it's the retaliator that gets stuck and always gets punished," said Dhoni.

"It happens in cricket also. So I think we need to get smart as to what needs to be done.

"Talking about a particular Test match, what happens is everybody's fantastic early in the morning, but once, after the tea session, after a couple of barrels of beer, it gets a bit difficult.

"You see the Aussie fans, they are a bit aggressive in that sense, and they're quite verbal about it but again it's something that you need to learn as to how you interact with the fans and how you can work them into someone who wants you to perform as an individual.

"(They) may not want the opposition team to perform really well, but (you have to) get the fans to push you to perform, so these are the things that you learn apart from just going on the field and proving yourself as cricketers."

Sharma made his gesture to someone who criticised the Indian team at a Perth go-karting track on Monday evening.

The go-karting session caused uproar back home as the Indian press questioned why the side was not training after going 2-0 down in the Border-Gavaskar Trophy series following an innings-and-68-run loss in Sydney.

But Dhoni said the session had been an important step in revitalising his side after such a heavy defeat.

"It (recreation) works, that's why we have been doing it," said Dhoni.

"You know we are among the sides that practices a lot.

"We have been trying to reduce the hours that we spend in practice but we have not been able to do that.

"We are one side that usually spends close to four hours every day during the net sessions, so we try to give guys rest as best as possible, so this recreation really helps doing that."

PA

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