Capt Dhoni pays tribute to team effort

Published: Monday, April 14, 2008, 3:35 [IST]
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Team India played like a unit and triumphedKanpur: Indian skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni gave full credit to his colleagues 'for a magnificent team effort' to wrap up the crucial third and last Test match here on Sunday and ensure the parity in the series.

''It was a more of a mind game between India and South Africa, and we won it,'' he said.

Addressing a press conference after the match, Dhoni, who took over as the captain of the India side after the regular Test skipper Anil Kumble declared unfit ahead of the start, said all credits goes to our bowlers and specially the part-time bowlers who did a good job.

''After loosing the toss, we had to go all out for the match and frequent change of bowling really did the trick and even fetched us 8 to 9 wickets in the second innings of SA'', he said.

While commending Harbhajan, Sehwag, Ishant and Sreesanth for bowling out South Africa cheaply in the second innings, he said the contributions of Sourav Ganguly and VVS Laxman in the first innings were extremely important.

"It was crucial the way Sourav and Laxman batted in the first innings. On a track like this where any ball can kick and bounce, you have to be positive and keep scoring."

''Our last batting pair of Sreesant and Ishant played too well and gave us a lead of 60 runs which changed the match situation while the bowlers did the rest.''

When asked why he gave Harbhajan the new ball in the second innings of SA, Dhoni said he had to gamble as the hard new bowl would certainly jump with a turn and Bhajji can do it very easily.

''Spinner from one side and pacer from other also created problems for the SA batsmen in the second innings, resulting in quick wickets,'' he added.

Defending the pitch, he said when Australia, New Zealand and England can prepare their pitch suiting to their strengths then why can't India do it.'' It was a turning wicket and the spinners have advantage in such type of tracks,'' he said.

"It's not about the wicket alone as credit should be given to the bowlers and batsman."

The wicketkeeper also admitted that he himself experienced some problems while collecting the ball as there were rough patches and the ball was coming very low.

Reacting on the absence of Sachin Tendulkar in the match, he said the Indians really missed such a great player along with Kumble.

''Had there been Kumble, the match would have ended more earlier,'' he said while admitting that playing without Sachin was never good for the team."

Commenting on why he did not go for third spinner in the match, Dhoni said he knew very well that the part-time spinners like Sehwag and Yuvraj can do the work.


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