Second Test: Mahendra Singh Dhoni hails team effort from India at Lord's
Last Updated: 21/07/14 7:27pm
India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni praised his side's attitude after they beat England by 95 runs in the second Test.
Ishant Sharma claimed career-best figures of 7-74 as England were all out for 223 chasing a target of 319, giving India only their second win at Lord's in 17 visits.
The result gives India a 1-0 lead in the five-match series and also ended their three-year wait for a Test win overseas, a run that included a 4-0 defeat in England in 2011.
"It is a very memorable Test match for all of us," said Dhoni.
"I feel the approach was fantastic – it wasn’t like all of us got runs, but what was important was that individuals rose to the occasion.
"Looking at the whole batting department they did very well, and the tail is contributing.
"We learned from the 2011 series that it is very important to stay in the game until the end of the third day.
"What that does is it brings our spinners into action. They can give the bowlers ample rest, and at the same time get us a few wickets. Looking at this series, in the two games we’ve played, we’ve been able to do that."
Joe Root and Moeen Ali put on 101 for the fifth wicket as England remained in contention during the morning session on day five.
But Ishant bounced out Moeen on the stroke of lunch and then added the wickets of Matt Prior, Ben Stokes and Root early in the afternoon session - all via short balls - to settle the contest.
Dhoni added: "What cricket has shown is it is a great leveller. You have to constantly put pressure on the opposition, that’s what the first session showed us.
"We had to be at our best because there was a big partnership. You start to doubt yourself, but you have to keep going, keep pushing yourself.
"Ishant didn’t really want to bowl short (in the over before lunch). It got us the wicket and gave him the confidence to keep attacking the batsman. It was a fantastic bowling effort. He is our strike bowler."
Man-of-the-match Ishant was quick to pay tribute to his team-mates.
He said: "I think the way the batsman played in the first innings was tremendous. I think Ajinkya (Rahane) played really well to score that hundred. I think that gave us the momentum to come back and bowl in the second innings to get them out cheaply.
"I don't think all the wickets are for me, they are for the captain because he's the one that told me, 'you are tall enough so you have to bowl a bouncer, you have to use your height' and that's what I did and it worked for me."
India were in trouble on day four before being rescued by a counter-attack from their lower order, No 8 Ravindra Jadeja leading the charge with 68 off 57 balls.
On Jadeja's aggressive batting, Dhoni said: "He has to play that way. The more Test cricket he plays the more runs he gets and the more confidence he will get.
"He’s someone who doubts himself more than anyone else. What we have seen is that once he gets a bit aggressive, he starts playing his shots much better.
"We all know when it comes to a talent aspect that he can play a major role. I feel he’s definitely someone who can contribute."
Dhoni also explained why he decided to stand back from the stumps when keeping to Jadeja's left-arm spin on the fourth evening, saying: "The reasoning was that I wanted Virat (Kohli, at first slip) to stand a bit wide. But I was worried about the ones that flew between me and him.
"Standing up is more like a lottery. We had to make the best of the resources, that was the best move."