Perth, Feb 9: India's four-wicket victory against Sri Lanka in the tri-series on Wednesday was mainly constructed around Virat Kohli's half century and an impressive all-round show by Ravichandran Ashwin. For his fine efforts, Ashwin earned praise from his captain MS Dhoni.
Also read: Cool Kohli and all-round Ashwin shine in Indian victory
"Since Praveen (Kumar) had an off-day with bowling, it was important for somebody to take up that extra responsibility and Ashwin did so during the first Powerplay. Next time, he bowled in the second Powerplay and finally in the slog. It was very impressive bowling and he took it as a challenge," Dhoni said after the match at the WACA Ground.
Dhoni also mentioned how important the partnership between Ravindra Jadeja and Ashwin was. The duo put an unbroken 53-run stand which steered India to victory.
"It was important they (Jadeja and Ashwin) get some kind of partnership. It was not only about the runs but also about the number of balls they faced. They did well to that. They didn't play big shots and their running between the wickets was good too."
Talking about Jadeja's bowling, the wicketkeeper said: "Being a left-arm spinner, he needs to manoeuvre around with his pace a bit more. He can bowl slightly quicker than is needed. It's important to guide him, he is still young. He would learn a lot especially on wickets outside Indian sub-continent, where he needs to vary his pace more than his length, because he might not have the same turn he gets in the sub-continent. His presence in the side gives us the stability which is needed."
The only unhappy part in the victory, according to Dhoni, was the shot selection of his batsmen.
"There were a few shots we shouldn't have played. It's good we have ended on the winning side. We could have lost also," said Dhoni.
"Once I got out, and when Virat was run out, the match could have gone either way. It looked as it would go Sri Lanka's way. They had Lasith Malinga, the last recognized pair we had was Jadeja and Ashwin. With the kind of slinging action he has, you misread one ball and you can get out," Dhoni added.
Dhoni said that the top three in the batting order would be rotated for future games as well.
"We would look to rotate. I want Rohit to play as many games as possible. It gives him an opportunity to get set. We can afford to give him chances in the first leg of the tournament. It's important to give him a long run. He (Rohit) still scores a lot of runs in domestic cricket and in IPL, he plays the best of bowlers and scores runs. Even today his shot was on but the point fielder took a brilliant catch. We need to back him (Rohit). The kind of talent he has, hopefully he would do well. He can also field well and if required, can also bowl."