Dhoni defends bowlers despite Kallis's ton

Published: Sunday, February 7, 2010, 15:21 [IST]
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Dhoni defends bowlers, SA on top

Nagpur: Team India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni has stood by his bowlers despite South African batsman Jacques Kallis scoring his third hundred in five Tests on the first day of the first Test at Nagpur.

Addressing the media, Dhoni said, "I think we bowled quite a disciplined line you can say and they batted very patiently and frankly speaking, there was not much for the fast bowlers. Ishant and Zaheer Khan, they did their best. I think overall it was a good flat track, a very good first day to bat also and that is why they did."

"We were fortunate to get first two wickets, Zaheer bowled very well; Mishra did the containing job throughout the day. So, overall, you can say if we could pick two more wickets, we should be thankful," added Dhoni.

He also praised Kallis, who joined the club of elite batsmen to score over 10,000 runs in Test matches.

Dhoni also justified the inclusion of West Bengal wicket keeper Wriddhiman Saha in place of injured VVS Laxman.

"We have to see our options. There were two options available - one was to push Laxman to play to play but you know with being fit close to 50 to 60 percent so it is always good to back a youngster who is at least 100 percent fit," said Dhoni.

India vs South Africa, 1st Test - Scorecard

"So we opted for Wriddhiman Saha and he was the best option available because we are not looking for five bowlers. So I think we went with the best option," he added.

By the end of the day''s play, Jacques Kallis (159) and Hashim Amla (115) remained on the crease.

Before Kallis and Amla partnered for an unbeaten 285, Zaheer Khan had reduced the tourists to 6-2 in the seventh over when he dismissed Graeme Smith and Ashwell Prince.

The duo shared an unbroken stand of 285,a South African record partnership record against India, BBC reports.

The impervious Kallis joined Sunil Gavaskar and Brian Lara with 34 Test hundreds.


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