We still need to improve: Dhoni
Kandy, Aug 4: India had already won the five-match ODI series when they took an unassailable 3-1 lead in Colombo. By beating Sri Lanka here today, they moved up to the second spot in the ICC ODI rankings.
Speaking during the post-match presentation ceremony, India captain MS Dhoni discussed his batting and his team’s strengths and the areas that need improvement.
On his batting which has been phenomenal in the recent past
In this particular match the wicket was very good to bat on. A good platform was given to us [to build the innings]. Gautam [Gambhir] batted well, in between he had a good partnership with Manoj Tiwary which meant that the lower order batsmen [like us] can go and express ourselves. The ball started coming nicely on to the bat which meant that in the last ten overs we had to get fair amount of runs because we knew that in the second half [the wicket] will get slightly easy to bat on. Maybe in the first five to ten overs [of the second innings] it may swing but I don’t think that was really the case.
On the way he batted which showed that he was very aware of the field settings
Most of the Sri Lankan boundaries are quite big so no point in fighting the grounds that are over here so if it is not needed it is advisable to not look for the big shots and you can get those boundaries if you are placing it at the right areas. The out-field was quick and the ball was coming nicely [on to the bat] which meant you can use the pace of the bowler and that’s what it really boils down to because, me and Irfan [Pathan] were batting and if we had lost one more wicket which meant [Ravichandran] Ashwin would have come in and maybe [then] we would not have been able to get those extra 10-15 runs that we needed. So we played safe. We decided that we will try to get close to 300 odd runs and look to defend it.
On the team’s bowling performance
We still need to improve. Not only in the bowling department but in the batting department also. The good thing [about the series] is that the guy who was set more often than not during the series; he usually carried his innings forward and took the responsibility of scoring the runs so that made [chasing and setting targets] slightly easy. But it is important that we dictate the bowling by that we mean, scoring runs more than what is actually a par score. Because our bowling is slightly weak that is in the middle overs we have not been able to put a lot of pressure [on the opposition] apart from the last game. And when you are playing with part-time bowlers in conditions like this where the ball doesn’t turn and there is fair amount of dew [on the field] in the second half [of the game] you need those extra 10 to 15 runs.
On whether there are any concerns about his health since he was seen limping a bit
Not really. I don’t think it is a major concern. [...] when you are playing international cricket all these small injuries keep happening.