Dhoni lauds Jadeja, Ashwin's efforts after win against Sri Lanka

R Ashwin bagged three wickets and played a crucial knock of 30 not out to help India register their first win in CB Series Getty Images

By Ashish Shukla

Perth: Feb 8, 2012

India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni wasn’t happy with the shot selection of his top-order batsmen even though his team coasted to a four-wicket win over Sri Lanka in a triangular series match at WACA.

“There were a few shots we shouldn’t have played. It’s good we have ended on the winning side. We could have lost also,” said Dhoni, after his side suffered a mid-innings collapse.

“Once I got out, and when Virat was run out, the match could have gone either way. It looked as it would go Sri Lanka’s way. They had Lasith Malinga, the last recognized pair we had was Jadeja and Ashwin. With the kind of slinging action he has, you misread one ball and you can get out,” Dhoni explained the situation.

Dhoni praised Jadeja-Ashwin duo for their fighting partnership that saw the team through.

“It was important they get some kind of partnership. It was not only about the runs but also about the number of balls they faced. They did well to that. They didn’t play big shots and their running between the wickets was good too.”

Dhoni also praised the burly offie’s bowling during the Powerplay overs considering that Praveen Kumar had an off-day.

“Since Praveen had an off-day with bowling, it was important for somebody to take up that extra responsibility and Ashwin did so during the first Powerplay. Next time, he bowled in the second Powerplay and finally in the slog. It was very impressive bowling and he took it as a challenge.”

Jadeja who also performed his all-rounder’s duty pretty well got a special mention from his captain.

“Being a left-arm spinner, he needs to manoeuvre around with his pace a bit more. He can bowl slightly quicker than is needed. It’s important to guide him, he is still young.”

Dhoni said that Jadeja was still on a learning curve and would get better with time.

“He would learn a lot especially on wickets outside Indian sub-continent, where he needs to vary his pace more than his length, because he might not have the same turn he gets in the sub-continent. His presence in the side gives us the stability which is needed.”

The skipper also assured that Virat Kohli who suffered from cramps was doing fine and would be available for coming matches. He also reiterated that the top three in the batting order would be rotated for future games as well.

“We would look to rotate. I want Rohit to play as many games as possible. It gives him an opportunity to get set. We can afford to give him chances in the first leg of the tournament. It’s important to give him a long run.

“He (Rohit) still scores a lot of runs in domestic cricket and in IPL, he plays the best of bowlers and scores runs. Even today his shot was on but the point fielder took a brilliant catch.”

Dhoni feels that Rohit needs to be backed.

“We need to back him. The kind of talent he has, hopefully he would do well. He can also field well and if required, can also bowl.”

For the first time in many games, India only stuck with five bowlers and didn’t experiment with the part-timers.

“From one end, it was turning a bit more. The strip at the other end was flat and I thought if I go with a part-timer, it would be easy for opponents to score. I thought if I spread the field and use Praveen, you get bit of a swing and maintain the kind of pressure which was there at that point of time.”

Dhoni said he would have opted to bat as well had he won the toss.

“We were looking to bat first. It looked like a good pitch. We thought may be during the evening, it might do more with breeze coming from the sea. I think it was a two-paced pitch. A few were not coming on and a few were zipping through.” (PTI)