Bowlers need to learn: MSD
Hambantota, Jul 21: Coming off a month and half long break, MS Dhoni and his Team India were almost expected to be a little rusty in their first match of the season. But as their performance in the first ODI against Sri Lanka showed, the Men in Blue were fit, eager and raring to go after the rejuvenating rest.
Skipper Dhoni lauded his team’s performance after the 21-run win over the Lankans, but was also quick to list down the areas where the team needs to improve in order to be a stronger force.
Excerpts from Dhoni’s post-match interview:
The team showed no sign of rust after a long layoff.
There was no rust as such but death bowling is an area that needs improvement. Zak [Zaheer Khan] was good, as always and one big positive in the bowling department was Irfan Pathan dong well. If he bowls well and bats a bit, it gives us the stability that we really need in the absence of someone like Yuvraj [Singh] or [Ravindra] Jadeja.
It was a test for the likes of Pathan and Yadav to bowl in the crucial last five overs. How did they go?
Unless you face these pressure situations, it is very difficult to learn. All the bowlers have got their own variations but it’s about being in that scenario and then backing yourself to execute your strength. It was a good learning experience for them. At times, you do get hit but once you start delivering consistently in such situations, you turn into a Zaheer Khan.
You must be happy with the fact that apart from Gautam Gambhir all your batsmen looked good.
Gautam was unfortunate to get out in that way. After that [Virender] Sehwag and Virat [Kohli] batted really well. It was important for them to give us a good start because we lacked firepower in the lower-order, at No.7 or 8. So, it’s important that the set top-order batsmen go on to make a big score for [Suresh] Raina, me or Irfan [Pathan] to go in and express ourselves. This is one area we seek improvement in and the good thing is, we are improving.
The best thing was winning the toss, something that doesn’t happen much with you?
Well, I was practising it for one and a half month – not in the gambling places. Jokes apart, the good thing was this was one game in which I thought the toss would be crucial. The wicket was slightly difficult to bat on in the second innings. It was easy to slog in the first innings because the ball was coming on but later on there was variable bounce and it made batting difficult. I thought [Kumar] Sangakkara batted really well. If he had more partners, it could have been a very close game.