| Yuvraj Singh after reaching his half-century, in Rajkot, on Friday. He made 61 off 54 balls. (PTI) |
Rajkot: India began the one-day series against England on a disappointing note as they fell short by just nine runs chasing a steep target of 326.
At the post-match media conference, Mahendra Singh Dhoni said that they should have won the match and that there were no need for rash shots.
The following are excerpts
Alastair Cook: Obviously, it was a good win. The way the guys played, it made me proud.
It was a good toss to win. The conditions were good… It was a very good wicket, and we made the most of it. The batsmen made it count today… Everyone got off to a good start and contributed. But one of the guys should have gone on to score a big hundred.
The Indian bowlers made a brilliant comeback… But Samit (Patel) and Craig (Kieswetter) made the difference. The 70 runs off the last six overs proved to be decisive.
It was an excellent wicket…. The character of the wicket remained the same throughout the match. And you had a quick outfield. It was hard to defend with five men in the circle.
India kept getting close and close…. They came hard at us…. But we got the wickets at crucial juncture in the game. Also, some good catching helped our cause. Tredwell bowled brilliantly. He did exceptionally well… It is pretty much the same attack we had here in 2011…. So, it’s great to see how we have learned from the experience.
Mahendra Singh Dhoni: It was difficult… But we should have got there… The ground had a very fast outfield… If you found the gap, you could get a boundary. I mean, there was no need for rash shots. Rather than looking at it as 320-odd runs, we should have thought that the target was close to 280 or 290 runs. Maybe, I should have batted for a few more overs. Then, we could have got there.
You can look at it either ways… There was a situation in the middle when it looked they would have scored 340 or 345 runs… But the spinners got us back in the game. I think (Suresh) Raina bowled really well.
It is true that we gave away quite a few runs in the death overs. But we must not forget that it is a new batch of bowlers. They don’t have much experience when it comes to international cricket. And when you cannot even execute the yorkers, especially when the best batsmen of the opponents are batting, you are bound to go for runs.
When you are chasing a total of over 320 runs, it’s important that you get off to a good start. You have to make sure that someone bats at one end and the others can rotate around him. That was not the case in this game. Hopefully, we will learn from our mistakes and show improvement in the coming matches.
I won’t sound arrogant, but I think it seemed easy when Raina and I were in. Under the revised rules, you have five fielders inside the circle and you always fancy your chances… On top of that if you have wickets in hand, the bowlers always come under pressure. But once Raina got out, we lost quite a few wickets in quick succession. And it became really difficult for the others.
James Tredwell: You try and hit your skills over and over again. If the batsman plays a good shot, so fair play to him. But I think I bowled well. Fortunately, we batted first. So I had a chance to look at how the Indian bowlers fared on the wicket. I saw Raina bowl pretty well… He was bowling at the right areas… I tried to copy that and it came off well today.
We got wickets at the right time. That’s what helped us get over the line.
A spinner can learn a lot under the conditions… The new fielding rules give you an opportunity to play against the spin… Today, fortunately, things went in the right direction for us.