New Delhi: Quality fielding and disciplined bowling, Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni felt, were the reasons behind India’s thrilling 10-run win over Pakistan, in the third and final one-dayer, at the Kotla, on Sunday.
At the post-match media conference, Dhoni admitted that his team’s going through a tough period, but added that they have the right character.
The following are excerpts
On his feelings after the win
We lost the first two matches and, unfortunately, the series, too. So, I am happy to have managed this victory. What is more heartening is that the win was a complete team effort. Our fielding today was absolutely great. Though we dropped a couple of catches, we could stop at least 20 runs because of our fielding. Our fast bowlers also did well… They bowled in the right areas. Our two opening bowlers did a fine job and later, the spinners had an equally good day. Overall, it was a hugely satisfactory outing.
If the win will help in the lead-up to the ODI series against England
Games like these really keep the team together… It was an incredible win. Now we are going through a tough period… But this team has the right character.
Whether he was confident of defending 167
We knew the score was not very big, so we decided not to look at the scoreboard. We told ourselves that we should bowl in the right areas and raise our fielding standard. Actually, the bowlers did extremely well. Generally, while defending small totals, the bowlers try to do some experiments… Like bowling short and changing the length. But today, the bowlers bowled according to the plan. We also went for attacking fielding since we needed wickets.
On debutant Shami Ahmed
This was his first game in front of a big crowd… It was a big game… But he dished out a fine performance. He excelled under difficult conditions and troubled both the openers. I am sure he would be a more matured cricketer in future.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s performance
He is a smart bowler like Praveen Kumar, perhaps a bit faster. He knows his limitations, knows when to execute his yorkers… The only thing he should learn is to bat, since we need more all-rounders in the team. Now, Irfan Pathan is the only all-rounder we have.
On why Yuvraj was used sparingly as a bowler
We are allowing him time to adjust with the new five-fielder rule in the ODIs… That’s the reason why we are using Jadeja.
The top order failing yet again…
Yes, it remains a matter of concern. We should have scored more. But remember, batting on this wicket was not easy. It was foggy and chilly… The ball moved a lot. Still, we should have managed at least 220-225 runs.
Openers’ poor show
We must show patience… The Pakistan attack was extremely good. It was not easy to play against them. I know we rely a lot on the openers, but at the same time, we should not put extra pressure on them.