London - India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni has defended his decision to take a day off in the run-up to the fifth and final Test against England at The Oval.
Dhoni didn't train with his side, 2-1 down in the five-match series with one to play after successive heavy defeats, on Wednesday but was back at The Oval on Thursday to speak to reporters ahead of Friday's start in south London.
“It was personal. That's why it was a day off,” Dhoni told reporters.
“I felt like taking a day off, and took one.
“Three days before that, I was with the team - and we had enough team-building activities - so that one day off doesn't make much of a difference,” he said.
Rain forced India to train indoors on Thursday after they were beaten by an innings inside three days in the fourth Test at Old Trafford last week.
India's batsmen, particularly Virat Kohli, have been found wanting in recent weeks and Dhoni said: “We all have our own technique and need to have confidence in our technique.
“I might be one of the batsmen with a horrible technique when it comes to Test cricket.
“It's all about adjustment for me. Still, you need to be aware of the limitations of the technique that you have.”
As for Kohli, who has made just 108 runs un eight innings in the series at an average of 13.5, Dhoni added: “It is important for him to remain positive.
“If he can score runs in Australia or South Africa, there's no reason why he can't score runs in English conditions.
“You need to assess what you are doing differently or what bowlers are making you do differently.
“It's always that cat-and-mouse game between batsmen and bowlers.
“He needs to back himself and make sure that he is not getting into areas where is vulnerable.”
Tall seamer Ishant Sharma, ruled out with a leg injury since taking career-best figures in India's 95-run win in the second Test at Lord's, has been passed fit to play at The Oval.