Colombo: MS Dhoni's mood in the post-match press conference was quite relaxed compared to a couple of days ago, and the skipper praised his bowlers for setting up the big victory over Pakistan that kept their hopes alive in the World Twenty20.
Asked if he was concerned about the inconsistency of the bowlers, Dhoni said: “While assessing the bowlers’ performance, it is not right to compare with the last game (defeat against Australia), when the ball got wet. We’ve got bowlers who have the skill to get batsmen out, but our problems start when there’s nothing on the wicket — when it’s not slow, there’s no reverse swing or spin, it’s bit of concern,” said Dhoni.
“But today’s (Sunday) performance was really good. The part-timers contributed, the spinners bowled well and also the fast bowlers. In the first two overs, we gave away a few runs, but after that we were quite consistent.”
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The key to India’s success, Dhoni felt, was the regular fall of wickets. “The wicket was a bit slow, but initially, the new ball was coming on to the bat. It was a bit two paced, and their plan was to cash in on the new ball, that’s why they sent (Shahid) Afridi up. But we got regular wickets. They would’ve been targeting 140 then, but our bowlers did the job to restrict them,” he said.
Dhoni also praised Yuvraj Singh, who bowled and fielded brilliantly and answered some of the critics who had been calling for his head. “We never considered not playing him. Especially when we play seven batsmen, the part-timers become very important, and though we have others, a left-armer is a boon. He is also a good fielder, and got a great run out today (Sunday). If we play four bowlers, it is difficult to leave out Yuvi, and I’m pleased he got some good runs under his belt too,” the captain said.
Pakistan skipper Mohammad Hafeez gave credit to the Indians for outplaying them. “The pitch was breaking, and we wanted to get 160 on the board. But we kept losing wickets, and didn’t get any partnerships going, which allowed them to get on top. Our bowling is our strength, and the ball wasn’t coming on, so that would’ve helped our spinners, but we couldn’t set the total we wanted,” he said.
Asked about Virat Kohli's golden run, Hafeez summed it up thus: “He is in the best form I have ever seen anyone in.”