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Updated: December 1, 2009 15:13 IST

Dhoni insists on flawless performance

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MS Dhoni
MS Dhoni

India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni is not ready to allow the tri-series triumph gloss over the weaknesses and said the team would have to learn from their mistakes to remain at the top.

Defending a 319-run total, India’s bowling and fielding left much to be desired with the seamers erring in their line and length and the fielders spilling catches and missing run out chances.

“We made a number of mistakes in the field and did not field well as a team. It’s thanks to some characters in the side that we won the match,” Dhoni said after India beat Sri Lanka by 46 runs in the final.

“As the number two team in the world, we don’t want to make mistakes and repeat them. Hopefully, boys are learning from it and realising that we have to be at our best,” he said.

Conceding his seamers struggled when Tillakaratne Dilshan was going great guns, Dhoni said, “Dilshan is one such batsman who relishes short of length ball and can really hurt you. I hope bowlers have learnt and would not give him any width next time because that’s an area where he can kill you.”

Dhoni said it was great to improve India’s poor final record on the Lankan soil and he dedicated the victory to former BCCI president Raj Singh Dungarpur, who recently passed away.

“This is a special victory, coming after so long. It’s always tough to go back to press conference after losing a final, for the first question would be about how we have made a habit of losing finals. So good to be on the winning side.

“I would like to dedicate this win to Raj Singh Dungarpur. He was a great man and he once went to Pakistan with us as the team manager,” he said.

On India’s batting order reshuffle, Dhoni said Rahul Dravid agreed to open the innings with Sachin Tendulkar which allowed him to rejig the order.

“Rahul accepted the suggestion to open. He is ideal number three batsman and we did not want to shuffle him down to number five or six. Rahul opening allowed us to send in some surprise batsmen and accommodate Virat Kohli at number seven,” he said.

Centurion Sachin Tendulkar was adjudged both the Man of the Match and the Man of the Series for his sterling show and the batsman conceded the hosts put up a good fight in the final.

“I lost all my nails. I would like to congratulate Sri Lanka for producing fantastic cricket,” he said.

Tendulkar had cramps in his leg during his 133-ball knock but the batsman said he was fine.

“It’s all right, few cramps here and there but body is holding up,” he said.

Harbhajan Singh was named the most stylish player of the match for his five-wicket haul while Yuvraj Singh got the fastest fifty award.

Sri Lanka skipper Kumar Sangakkara felt the hosts had an even chance to win the match but they failed to capitalised on that.

“We were ahead in asking rate at one stage. We were ahead by runs but down in wickets. Had we got some wickets in hands and with the powerplay remaining, we could have won today,” he said.

“Chasing 320 and get to this close was good but looking at the opportunities back, I would say we would have won today,” Sangakkara said.

On his bizarre hit wicket dismissal, Sangakkara said: “You somewhere find new ways to get out. Unfortunately that was the way today.” Trying to play a shot, Sangakkara’s bat slipped out of his hands and fell on the wickets.


Team India return after tri-series triumph September 15, 2009

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