Monday, 30th October 2017

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Sledging is an art, says Dhoni

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  • Published 27.02.08

Hobart: Mahendra Singh Dhoni, fresh from leading India into the tri-series finals, on Tuesday said sledging is an art and the Australians have perfected it but it won’t take long for his boys to learn the tricks of the trade. The wicketkeeper-batsman singled out the fast bowlers for special praise during the post match press conference.

The following are excerpts

Nature of the pitch

This track was more suitable for batting. It was flat though there was some bounce as well. I expected something for the quicks in the morning because it was cloudy but there wasn’t much help and they (Sri Lanka) got off to a good start. Our first change bowlers, Praveen and Irfan, bowled really well and got some quick wickets. It was very important because after some time there was no help for the bowlers and it was difficult to get even the tail-enders out.

Praveen Kumar’s performance

Before today, he didn’t have a single wicket on the international stage. To get a wicket and more and back it up with the Man of the Match award was very heartening. That’s what you expect from the youngsters. If he can improve his batting a little more he will be an asset to the team.

Playing five bowlers vs Sri Lanka

We have been batting quite well against Sri Lanka and scoring quite a few runs. We wanted that extra bowler. We wanted to play swing bowlers against Australia and seamers against Lanka and that has worked out very well for us. If we do play five bowlers, then the only guy who misses out is Virender Sehwag.

Sachin Tendulkar’s knock

Every time people have written about him or written him off, he has proved them wrong. That’s what we have to be really careful about. When we say or write about him, we must consider his class and contribution to Indian cricket.

Personal milestone of 100 ODI catches

I don’t think I am the best ’keeper, though I always try to be safe. As long as I hold the catches that come my way, I am happy. My ’keeping has improved a lot but there still is scope for betterment.

Australians provoking the Indians

That was the scene in the last instance. It has been going on for a long time. We have to be careful. If they provoke us, we need to mind what we say. Our youngsters react and get fined for things like that. Ishant just reacted to what Symonds said. It’s an art and they are good at it but we will learn soon.

Relation between the two teams

It has never been friendly. Cricket can never be friendly. There will be aggression and that is fine so long as it is within limits.

The “illegal” gloves

The gloves are okay but if it was getting close to the line between being legal and illegal, I thought there is no point in getting into another controversy. I don’t think the webbing helps you too much. No more than five out of my 100 one-day catches would have stuck in the webbing. It is mostly the hands that hold the catches. When you have seven pairs in the bag, may as well use some other pair than a controversial one!