Victorious captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni on Friday night lavished praise on his bowlers, saying Aashish Nehra did an excellent job with the new ball while Yuvraj Singh played the part-time spinner’s role to perfection.
Assured of a place in Monday’s final against Sri Lanka, Dhoni said skittling out New Zealand for 155 inside 47 overs made the batsmen’s job easy and both Nehra and Yuvraj, who shared six wickets between themselves, deserve credit.
“Ashish Nehra did the job for us by picking up the early wickets and Yuvraj was a great find with the ball,” an elated Dhoni said after the match.
“It was a good start by the bowlers and our seamers were really good today,” Dhoni said.
“Besides, Yuvraj did well as a part-timer. I think New Zealand lost because they needed one more spinner on this track. (Daniel) Vettori bowled well but they lacked one spinner, while we used Yuvraj,” he explained.
Even though the target was modest, India were in a spot of bother at 84 for four before Dhoni (35 not out) and Suresh Raina (45 not out) featured in an unfinished 72-run stand to see the side through with nearly 10 overs to spare.
“To chase 150-160, you need 2-3 good partnership. At 84 for four, we were a bit tense but the batsmen did the job for us,” Dhoni said.
“The target was not really big and we waited for the right ball to attack,” he said.
Man of the Match Nehra, who scalped three for 24, was happy with his performance despite the pitch not offering much assistance.
“I maintained a good line and length and picked up early wickets. There was not too much movement from the pitch but I bowled well,” he said.
“Last two months, I have been bowling well. I played in the West Indies and had a good Indian Premier League season.
Because of injuries, I struggled for a few years but worked hard to overcome and I’m happy with my show,” said the left-arm seamer.
New Zealand captain Daniel Vettori was upset that five Kiwi batsmen, including himself, got into 20s but could not convert.
“To put a competitive total, we needed to bat better. It was a tricky wicket but we should have posted at least 200 runs,” he rued.
“When wicket got easier, a few of our batsmen got out in 20s… that was (a) pretty disappointment. With bat, you had to do more,” he said.