India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni on Sunday said wins in games like in the third ODI against Pakistan motivates young cricketers and helps the side to move forward.
Dhoni told BCCI’s official website, “What’s important is this win will really take the team forward because games like this will really motivate you a lot.”
“Games like these get the team together. The bowlers start believing in themselves and the batsmen take the positive initiative of saying we want to fight and give enough runs for the bowlers to defend,” he added.
India, after being bundled out for a paltry 167, fought back against Pakistan in the chilly Delhi and clinched the third ODI in their favour by 10 runs.
Skipper Dhoni was impressed with the combined effort. He said, “It’s not about a few individuals who need to perform. Everyone needs to contribute. Frankly, I am not looking for someone to score a big hundred or 150.”
“What will be really satisfying is the 40 or 45-run contributions and one big 75-80 run partnership and
everybody batting around it, which means all the batsmen will be in form. Yes, we are going through a tough period, but I think this team has the character to get out of it,” Dhoni added.
Dhoni expressed that India’s fielding effort was the key factor in their win.
“We fielded very well, saved at least 20 runs, which has a huge impact on a game like this because it was not a high-scoring game,” Dhoni said.
Talking about the bowlers, Dhoni said, “The fast bowlers bowled really well. It was important to get wickets with the new ball and Bhuvneshwar did that by getting us breakthroughs. After that, the other two fast bowlers capitalised and the pressure kept mounting. Then, the spinners too bowled very well. Overall, a very good team effort, but for me the fielding was outstanding.”
However, Dhoni was not happy with the batsmen.
“I can say in the team’s defence that we made the runs that were needed (for victory) but yes, we should have scored more,” he said.
“Initially, there was a bit of movement for the fast bowlers but in the middle stages, we lost many wickets which we shouldn’t have. It was a good track, we should have made a minimum of 220 or 225,” Dhoni added.
Talking about the bowling plan, the Indian captain said, “168 was not really enough but we told ourselves that we would not look at the board. We said we would focus on the areas to bowl in and what we needed to do. It paid off.
“The bowlers bowled a very disciplined line. Sometimes while defending a low score, bowlers try too hard and can be all over the place but here they bowled in the right areas. As captain, even I thought this total was not enough, so we had very attacking fields. There were a lot of gaps but our bowling was excellent,” he added.
Dhoni praised debutant cricketer Mohammad Shami Ahmed, who impressed with the new ball in the opening spell.
“It’s important to realise that it was his first game in front of a big crowd. His performance was really good. He backed himself to bowl in the areas that he usually bowls in,” he said.
Dhoni added, “The more he plays, the better he will get because you need to test bowlers under different conditions. Today, he was brilliant, he kept hitting the same areas and he troubled the openers also initially.”
First Published: January 7, 2013, 1:10 pm