Dhoni wants to gift series to Tendulkar, Dravid

Published: Tuesday, March 24, 2009, 12:17 [IST]
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Dhoni eyes series win

Hamilton: India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni has called for a repeat effort as he aims to reward Tendulkar and Dravid with a rare Test series win in New Zealand.

India have not won a Test series in New Zealand since a 3-1 success in 1967-68 but got their latest attempt off to a flying start with a 10-wicket win in Hamilton.

Not since 1976 had India even won a single Test in New Zealand so that comprehensive victory in Hamilton was a new experience even for veterans such as Rahul Dravid and Sachin Tendulkar.

Dhoni is now hoping to carry that form from the opening Test, which ended a day early, into the rest of the three-match series and celebrate another landmark.

"It's a great feeling especially for guys whose careers have spanned more than 10 years," said Dhoni.

"They have played at most of the venues all over the world and if it's a first win for them it can't get any better.

"It would be great to win a series. One of the first milestones we have achieved in this series is to win a game and take the lead but now it's important to play the same kind of cricket in the second and third games.

"Let's hope we can win the series as that would be the best gift to give [the senior players]."

Dhoni believes Harbhajan Singh could play a big part in achieving a series win after making a vital contribution in Hamilton.

The spinner destroyed New Zealand's hopes of taking the Test into a final day, taking six for 63 in their second innings, which was his first five-for against the Black Caps.

"There was not much help for the spinner but they didn't go after him and that was good for us," added Dhoni.

"Once you allow a bowler of his calibre to get on top of you then more often than not he will get wickets against you or he will do a containing job, which is as good in Test matches.

"If you can contain batsmen from one end it really puts the pressure on to score runs (at the other).

"It will be important to see him through throughout the Test series because he's the kind of bowler who once he starts taking wickets game after game, he will continue to do so."

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