Performance was very satisfying: Dhoni
Hyderabad, Aug 26: After India beat New Zealand in the first Test, skipper MS Dhoni first took a moment to congratulate the Under-19 team for bringing back the ICC Under-19 World Cup to India. “First of all, congratulations to the Under-19 Indian cricket team for winning the World Cup. It was a fabulous performance. Unmukt Chand batted really well [to win the match for India],” India’s 2011 ICC World Cup-winning skipper said.
Reflecting on India’s victory in the first match of the two-Test series against New Zealand, Dhoni appreciated the performances of Cheteshwar Pujara and Ravichandran Ashiwn. However, he was also pleased with India’s fielding.
Excerpts from his post-match interview:
On the victory and performance of the Indian team
This is a very satisfying performance. Cheteshwar Pujara batted really well, but I felt as the game progressed, it was difficult for the bowlers. There was a bit of turn, but it was a wicket that you had to work hard on. The bowlers had to keep coming [in] to the batsmen and bowl the right areas, and the batsmen decided ‘OK I am not taking you on.’ It was very difficult to get them out.
On the way the bowlers stuck to their task and their patience
That was very important because we were battling the weather, because we never knew how many overs we will get. That was one of the main reasons we wanted the opposition to follow-on. The bowlers bowled brilliantly. We didn’t really give any loose deliveries to score runs, which meant that even if the opposition batted for one or two hours, the scoreboard wasn’t really ticking a lot. So, we could have close-in fielders and put pressure on them.
On the superb catches taken by India
There was brilliant catching in this game. The fielders did a very good job. Viru Paa [Virender Sehwag] got a few very good catches; Virat [Kohli] took good catches; then the caught and bowled by R Ashwin. So, we showed that we have done well in all the aspects in this particular game. But it is something we want to continue with.
On Pujura’s innings and his ability to bat for long periods
It was important because he was coming [into the team] after an injury, so it is always difficult. But he is someone who is used to playing big innings. Even for his first-class team, he is known to do that. He has a good temperament batting at No.3. He is someone who can bat for long periods and the strokemakers can play around him.