World Cup

Dhoni pleased, but demands more from bowlers

Indian captain M.S. Dhoni.   | Photo Credit: Rick Rycroft

M.S. Dhoni basked in the glow of a satisfying victory over Pakistan, a win that came as a relief after months of despair in Australia. The Indian captain hailed Virat Kohli’s hundred, slower than usual perhaps, and his partnership with Shikhar Dhawan as crucial to the outcome.

“After we lost Rohit, the partnership (between) Virat and Shikhar was really crucial because the ball was doing a bit. It was not an easy wicket, and there was variable bounce.

“According to the demand and the wicket, you have to alter your game, and Virat did that. Even Shikhar is normally aggressive but today he was rotating the strike.

“They batted really well when Shahid Afridi and the other spinner (Yasir Shah) came on. If you rotate (strike) well with the least risk, you get a good platform,” he said.

Despite the comprehensive nature of the win, the bowling had to improve, Dhoni admitted.

“The bowlers will have to come more into the picture, because we can’t give them 300 runs to defend all the time,” he said. “It’s important that their performance should rise, so that when you get further into the tournament, you rely on them as well.

“At times, we could be batting second, and it would be important to stop the opposition at 240…because we don’t know what a good score is.”

India extended its record of wins over Pakistan in the World Cup to six out of six, but Dhoni would not unduly concern himself with such facts.

“The record is good, but it’s something that I don’t want to get into because there will come a time when we will lose, irrespective of whether it happens this World Cup, next World Cup or four World Cups down the line,” he said. “It’s not something that will stay until the world exists. No point in really thinking about it.

“Yes, we are proud of the fact that we have done it, but if you just see the head-to-head stats in ODIs, we are way behind Pakistan. They have really dominated.”

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Printable version | Dec 3, 2021 11:23:35 AM |

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