Need to improve in many areas: Dhoni
Colombo, Sep 19: India won their first game of the ICC World T20 against Afghanistan, but it wasn’t an easy victory for MS Dhoni’s men. The Men in Blue got off to a shaky start while batting first and then were made to work hard in the field by Afghanistan. But eventually they defended their 159-run total successfully.
Speaking after the match, both captains analysed their team’s performance and reflected on the match.
India captain - MS Dhoni:
On winning the match and getting off to a good start
Yes, it is important. This format balances out both the teams because if one of the opposition batsmen or bowlers has a very good day, he can take the game away from the other side.
On the team’s performance
It was a good performance but not a brilliant performance. I don’t think we were really up to the mark. Of course it is good to win this game, but as the tournament progresses, we will have to improve in a lot of areas, otherwise there will be a lot of pressure on the batsmen to score almost 20 runs more than the par score and in some games you might end up getting 10-15 runs less than what is a par score on that wicket.
On Yuvraj Singh’s three-wicket haul and the balance that he adds to the side
He does bring balance to the team. We are playing with one bowler short so it is important that the part-timers do well together. But if a couple of your bowlers are not doing well and you are playing with four specialist bowlers, then the team is facing a big problem. That is one area where we have to improve. People talk a lot about playing with five bowlers but I think it is important that on a particular day the bowler, whether he is a part-timer or a specialist bowler, he has to bowl well.
On whether he was nervous when Mohammad Shahzad and Mohammad Nabi were hitting big shots
Yes there were a few nervous moments because as I said, the game of cricket is a great leveler. You cannot take any side lightly and I think today was a great example of that. You have to be at your best regardless of which side you are playing.
Afghanistan skipper Nawroz Mangal:
On the match
It was definitely a good game for the boys as expected but we could have done better. Our shot selection was a bit poor on few occasions so we lost the game.
On his team’s effort in the field
We could have done better while fielding but still we did well to restrict the Indian batting line-up to 159 runs. But unfortunately we couldn’t chase down the target successfully.