New Delhi: Mahendra Singh Dhoni, back at the helm after serving a two-match ban, expressed satisfaction with teams performance in the ongoing series against Sri Lanka and lauded Virender Sehwags captaincy on Saturday.
The following are excerpts
How he would rate Virender Sehwag as a captain
Im not going to give him (Sehwag) marks. Cricket is not played that way. Thats your job. But he has played tremendous cricket, won both the matches for the team and we will be playing the last match without any pressure.
The teams show in the series
I think everything went perfect. We got the wickets when we needed them and had partnerships when we required. We did drop a few catches, but the fielding still looked better than the first two matches. The intensity was there and I think everything went fine.
Fielding is something that cannot be improved overnight or in a weeks time. We have to work on our basics and then it would start improving, gradually. We dropped catches in the Twenty20 matches and in this series also.
On youngsters like Ravindra Jadeja and Virat Kohli…
We never doubted their (Jadeja and Kohlis) talents. It was just a matter of getting exposure and making the most of it. We always knew they would do well. In a long series, we are certain to miss some regular players. While we would miss them individually, its for the youngsters to come and perform to ensure that the team doesnt miss anyone on the field. The youngsters are the ones who lift the fielding standard. Their basics are correct and you have the luxury of fielding 4-5 brilliant fielders inside the circle. Even at death, its great to have such agile fielders manning the boundary.
Team Indias batting
While for us its Sehwag, for them its (Tillekaratne) Dilshan — all depends on what kind of start they give to their team. More often than not, it depended on how long the opener lasts. But when both failed, its the middle order which mattered. Even when Sehwag got out, we scored 300-plus. Take the openers out and we have a better middle order.
Indias performance in 2009
It was a good year. Of course we did not do well in the Champions Trophy and in the home series against Australia, but we did well both at home and abroad. Individually also, we did well and I would say it was a good year overall.