Dhoni throws weight behind non-performers

Captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni on Tuesday threw his weight behind openers Virender Sehwag and Murali Vijay, who didn’t click in India’s first Test win over Australia here, as well as Ravindra Jadeja, who bagged five wickets in the match.

“Batting… opening, if you look at just the stats you may say that [ they failed]. But at the same time, you need to give them a fair amount of time. Let’s hope for the best. Vijay has played this game; let’s continue with him and give him some time and the comfort of saying that he’s wanted over here,” Dhoni told reporters after notching his 21stwin as captain.

Vijay scored 10 and 6 in the match while Sehwag made 2 and 19. But Dhoni said both would be given a longer rope.

“Well, that’s how he bats. About Sehwag, I’ve said this plenty of times before: when he scores runs, he looks a fantastic player. When he doesn’t score runs, you can question the shot he played or the way he played. He’s someone who’s always played with that sort of flair,” he defended Sehwag, who for the first time batted with spectacles.

“On this wicket, there was not much pace. In the first innings, he was unfortunate because he middled the ball, yet it came back and fell on the stump. In the second innings, there was not much pace for him to play freely. So I think we just need to give him more time.” Australia captain Michael Clarke admitted India outplayed his team.

“I think there are areas in both teams you need to focus on. We didn’t attack enough. If we’d got 150 or 200 on the board [as the target for India], we might have been able to expose, or at least seen how they played on a deteriorating wicket,” he said.

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Clarke said the crumbling pitch made an impact on the outcome of the game.

“It certainly had an impact on the game. It contributed a lot to India’s success in this match. But like I said, Kohli made a fantastic hundred. Ashwin got seven in the first, and five in the second. We were outplayed to be honest,” he said.

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