Indian captain M.S. Dhoni said victory in the first match of the ODI series on Friday was very important win, given the fact that the Indian team had been on a pretty long losing streak, especially in the one-day cricket.
Speaking to media after the match, Dhoni said he was pleased with the way the batsmen and the bowlers performed on a pitch which was slow, with the odd ball keeping low.
“This was the kind of a wicket which forces you to pick and choose your strokes,” he said. “I thought, at one stage even 250 should be a good score to defend. Personally, I was happy with the way I paced my innings and I deem it as very precious, though I don't like these ratings and comparisons.”
“I think ‘revenge' is a very strong word,” was the Indian captain's reply, when asked about the series. “But, I must say this is a grooming period for many youngsters.”
“It was a tricky decision to win the toss and bat as we were not sure about the dew factor,” Dhoni said.
The Indian skipper said he could not say whether the emphasis would be on spin or pace in the remaining matches again because of the uncertainty over the dew factor at different venues. “But, today we thought this wicket suited the spinners,” he added.
On being asked about the new rules, Dhoni said: “You can't go all out if you lose too many wickets with these PowerPlays. So we were initially cautious. I think our approach was right in this match.”
England captain Alastair Cook said his team was outplayed in all three departments of the game.
“In the last 20 overs of the Indian innings, I thought it was 30 to 40 runs too many on his wicket,” he said. “I can't put a finger on anything specific and say this is the reason why we lost this game. We made mistakes.”
Cook said that his team got into a decent position when the chase began but someone had to play an outstanding innings to see the team through.
“We should give credit to India for outscoring us in every department. But, I must also say it was important we showed great character and how strong we are as a unit. We hope to carry this forward this in the series,” Cook said.
He also had words of praise for Graeme Swann, and added that England would expect similar performances from him in the matches to come.