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Dhoni glad with middle-order exposure

Indian skipper pleased with Yuvraj’s return to form

MS Dhoni had expressed concern over some of his batsmen not getting enough chances to bat, given the top-order was finishing matches comfortably in the league stage of the 2014 World Twenty20. However, having inserted to bat first against Australia, India had a chance to sore big runs and hence an opportunity for all batsmen.

“We wanted to bat first in this game," Dhoni said after India’s 73-run win over Australia. "Once we lost the toss it wasn't really in our control. Overall very happy that we were able to bat first and set the target. The middle order was tested. After we lost a couple of wickets, the ball wasn't really coming off the wicket, so it was slightly difficult for the batsmen to freely rotate. That's the kind of scenario that we may encounter in the coming game.

"There was no dew at all because of which the ball was gripping even more because of which shot-making wasn't easy at all. In this situation, 140-145 is a very good score. When you have 145 in mind and move forward and you have good batsmen in your side, then you end up with 155-160. In these wickets, 10-15 runs is a lot. I think we had the right approach because of which we could get nearly 160.

"Because the wickets are on the slower side and at times you tend to look at may be 160 is still a good score (to defend), you need to accelerate and you lose too many and you end up getting 130.”

Dhoni was particularly pleased with Yuvraj Singh’s return to form. Having struggled for runs of late, the left-hander scored 60 off 43 balls against the Aussies.

“I think in the middle period Yuvraj batted really well. He gave himself time. It was an ideal opportunity for him to see through the initial 10-15 deliveries and we all know the kind of batting line-up we have. Anyone who eats up the deliveries initially and stays till the end, he makes much more than the balls he faces. That's a big positive for us and overall the whole batting line-up got a bit of batting."

Meanwhile, Australian captain, George Bailey, was utterly dejected by the defeat that ousted his team from the tournament. He termed Australia’s 86 all-out as the team’s worst batting performance under his captaincy.

"I'd go so far as to say it's the most disappointing game that I've led from this team, for three years," Bailey said after the match in Mirpur. “I'm disappointed for the team. I'm disappointed with the way we batted. But I'm not embarrassed for anyone, apart from myself. If I was embarrassed I'd say it is with my own performance."

BCCI Staff

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Statistical Highlights: WT20 - Ind vs Aus

Yuvraj breaks multiple records as India win 6th in a row

4 for 11 - R Ashwin’s figures in the match. These are the best by an Indian bowler in a Twenty20 International. Ashwin obliterated Harbhajan Singh’s 4/12 against England in 2012.

6 Number of consecutive wins for India – their longest winning streak in Twenty20 Internationals. India had won five matches on the trot in 2007.

8 Number of 50s Yuvraj has scored in Twenty20 Internationals – most by an Indian. He was earlier tied with Gautam Gambhir and Rohit Sharma with seven half-centuries.

9 Number of boundaries (fours and/or sixes) hit by Yuvraj in the match. The whole Australian team managed only eight!

61.75 Yuvraj’s batting average in Twenty20 Internationals against Australia – highest for any batsman playing five innings or more.

Margin of victory for India – their second biggest in Twenty20 Internationals, after their 90-run win over England at Colombo RPS in 2012.

Rajneesh Gupta

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