Perth: Captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni heaped praise on off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin for his match-winning bowling effort in India’s nine-wicket spanking of United Arab Emirates in a cricket World Cup group league match today and termed the length he bowled as “superb”.(Dhoni Hails Bowlers)
Ashwin, who was adjudged man-of-the-match, almost singlehandedly decimated UAE for 102 with a career-best haul of four wickets for 25 runs, and Dhoni lauded him for his ability to adapt to the conditions.
“I think Ash (that’s how he referred the off-spinner) bowled really well. It’s important to change your bowling to some extent according to wicket. You have to find the right length and right trajectory to bowl, and I felt Ash did that really well,” Dhoni said at the post-match media conference.(Dhoni Happy With India’s All-Round Show)
“He (Ashwin) did use his faster one also, and he was quite successful to get a bit of spin on it, and that was the reason he got a couple of wickets out of those particular deliveries. But, I felt his line and length was superb and the pace at which he bowled,” he said.(Ashwin’s Hard Work Paying Off)
Dhoni expressed happiness at Ravindra Jadeja’s bowling effort of two wickets for 23 runs from his five overs today.
“Jadeja got a bit of turn later on. I introduced him quite late. I wanted to go a few more overs with our fast bowlers, but he bowled really well. Whatever opportunity he got, he bowled well,” he said.
The skipper seemed satisfied with the effort of pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar (1/19), who made a comeback to the playing eleven after recovering from an injury, as well as the bowling unit in general.
“He (Bhuvi) bowled well. It was good to give him a game. Shami was not 100 percent, so looking at the tournament ahead, obviously we felt it was better off, if we can give Shami a bit of rest,” said Dhoni.
“I thought Bhuvi started off well. He was slightly up in pace. That’s what it felt like from behind the wickets. It’s good to see the whole fast bowling unit available for selection. We will see who is the best on those particular wickets that’s provided. It’s good to see Bhuvi getting a bit of action.”
The performance of the bowling unit has been a revelation so far in the tournament, and Dhoni said the key to this aspect has been bowling to the right areas.
“I think they (bowlers) have spent a fair amount of time over here. If you see the bowling department as a unit, most of them, they have been part of the Test team and also the tri-Series. So when you go expensive in Test matches and also the ODI series, there’s definitely something that’s lacking.
“I feel it was an ideal reflection from the bowlers’ side also that they have to make sure they’re bowling the right length because even though the outfields are very big, you still can get hit for boundaries because of the pace of these wickets. I felt the bowlers also responded really well when they were told these are the areas we have to improve as a team, as a unit,” Dhoni said.
Fast bowlers hitting right length has also been the key, feels the skipper.
“All the three fast bowlers have bowled the right length in back-to-back matches. I feel it is very crucial, the reason being we have to exploit the fielding. With the additional fielder inside the circle, it becomes a bit difficult to contain the batsmen, especially if they have wickets in hand.
The response from the guys has been brilliant, and there has been more communication amongst the bowlers themselves,” the Indian captain said.
Dhoni was also happy that Rohit Sharma got a half century today after two indifferent matches.
“Well, he was getting runs before he got injured. The past couple of games he did not get runs, but it’s not like he’s out of form, so it’s good for every individual to get a bit of run, and also it was a good wicket, I think similar to what we played during the tri-series. So overall it was good for everyone. Shikhar is getting runs, Rohit is also amongst runs, so overall, it’s looking good for us,” he said. Dhoni said that he has no plans of promoting himself up the batting order.
Asked what button did he press to change things after failing to “buy a win” for his team, Dhoni apparently did not like the word ‘buy’, which was asked in lighter vein.
“Well, I don’t know whether to answer the buy aspect first because you have given yourself a nice thing to write, especially the Indian media, with the buy question.
“But as I said, when it comes to ICC tournaments, you have to raise your game as individuals and as a team. There’s no real secret magic to it. Yes, we had a tough season so far since we have been in Australia. We were hampered by injury to a lot of extent. A lot of batsmen, they were not getting enough runs, and also it’s difficult to switch straight from Test cricket to ODI cricket,” explained Dhoni.
“At times, it becomes slightly difficult, not for individuals who play similar sorts where they play their normal shots and all of that. But overall, yes, we did find it difficult. But what has improved is the consistency in bowling and the way we are picking our shots. That’s the crucial aspect, irrespective of which format you are playing. You pick your shots, you pick which bowler to target, which areas to hit, and the more good decisions you take, the better is the reflection in scorecard, both in bowling and batting,” he said.