Dhoni, the top scorer in Indias first innings with a disciplined 64, revealed at a post-match press conference this evening that the Flintoff delivery had hit him partly on the helmet and partly on the skull behind his left ear. He just called in physio John Gloster for some medical attention because he wanted some time to recover.
The 24-year old from Jharkhand, who hit ten fours in his knock, said, ''I just controlled myself to some extent as the English bowlers started to bowl a few yards away from me, not really pitching up to me. I had to curtail my cover drives and the backfoot punches as English bowlers got the ball to rise a bit high off the track and that can get any batsman into trouble''
Dhoni refused to comment on his controversial run out dismissal, saying that the decision of the third umpire had to be respected. He, however, claimed he did not see the red light indicating that he was out but decided to walk after seeing the verdict on the mega screen in the stadium.
Dhoni said he also did not see the replay when he got into the dressing room.
He said he initially thought that James Andersons direct throw had missed the stumps, but when he turned back to pick up his bat, he noticed that the bails were off.
Dhoni said his dismissal was ''quite disappointing'' adding that if he had stayed for 10-15 overs more, it could have been a totally different situation. ''The ball was new and was coming on to the bat nicely. There were plenty of opportunities for runs being scored.
There would have been chances of getting out as well but speaking positively, had I stayed on, we could have got more runs,'' he opined.
On his impressions about the pitch, Dhoni said, ''Its good, and has something for the fast bowlers, the spinners as well as the batsmen. The quick bowlers are able to extract good bounce, the ball was turning and the batters are getting scoring opportunities as well.'' He made light of Indias shoddy fielding, saying that dropped catches were part and parcel of the game. ''Some days you pull off good ones, some days you drop sitters,'' he quipped.
About the target, Dhoni felt that anything around 250 will be a good one. We have good spinners and the ball is turning, we are positive, he averred. On the lach of a sixth batsman, Dhoni said, ''Irfan (Pathan) and Anil bhai (Kumble) are doing well with the bat and I think we can make up the deficit,'' he affirmed.