Raina pushed me to bat up the order: Dhoni

AGENCIES

Ranchi, Jan 20 : For a change, India’s bowlers, especially the young new-ball pair, came in for praise from the captain on Saturday.
 Dhoni thanked his bowlers for giving the batsmen a small target to chase and stood by the decision of not giving his most experienced bowler Ishant Sharma the new ball, saying the two youngsters, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Shami Ahmed, can use the new ball best.
 “Bhuvneshwar and Shami can move the ball and with two balls from two ends, they are our best bets in the first 10-15 overs,” Dhoni said.
 “We have mostly played on wickets where there was something for the bowlers but the positive thing about their performance is that our pool of pacers has become bigger.”
 He added: “On the flip side, Ishant gets more bounce. So even if the ball is old, he can be effective. Moreover, he’s more experienced. So we can expect him to handle difficult situations better,” he added.
 The skipper also praised Virat Kohli, who finally came out of a slump with a match-winning innings here. “Virat didn’t make runs in the last 4-5 matches but when you hit a purple patch, you also have to understand that sometimes you’ll go through a lean patch,” he remarked. “Today, he played very well.”
 The biggest compliment, however, was reserved for Ravindra Jadeja. Asked if he fits the all-rounder’s bill, Dhoni said: “He definitely gives us that balance. We don’t have a seamer all-rounder (in the country) except Irfan (Pathan). So we’ll obviously want Jadeja to play the all-rounder’s role. He’s quite settled in his bowling. It’s his batting we need to work on. Once he plays 30-40 matches, he’ll start reading the game and will bat accordingly.”
 Dhoni was happy with the support the team got from his home crowd, but said his going in ahead of Suresh Raina wasn’t planned. “I was sitting next to Raina. He told me ‘why don’t you go in’. I was reluctant initially but said, ‘OK, let me pad up also. Then we’ll see.’ We didn’t think a wicket would fall. Fortunately, Yuvrajji got out,” he said jokingly.

'Always difficult to defend 155'
It was the batsmen’s superb display which gave England a winning start to the five-ODI series in Rajkot but in the next two matches, it’s the same department that has let them down.
Trailing 1-2 in the series, visiting captain Alastair Cook said they failed as a batting unit in the consecutive matches to hand India the lead and on Saturday the damage was done in the first innings.
“The damage had been done in the first innings. It’s always difficult to defend 155. For that you need a few early wickets but that didn’t happen. It’s frustrating when you don’t play to your potential and we were punished for that. There are quality players in the squad who can win a match on their own on a given day but today (Saturday) we were shaky in batting,” was Cook’s clear admission.

Lastupdate on : Sun, 20 Jan 2013 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Sun, 20 Jan 2013 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Mon, 21 Jan 2013 00:00:00 IST




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