Dhoni delighted with victory
Skipper MS Dhoni was delighted with India's comprehensive victory against England, praising centurion Yuvraj Singh.
Last Updated: 14/11/08 11:45am
Skipper MS Dhoni was delighted with India's comprehensive victory in the opening match of the ODI series against England, praising centurion Yuvraj Singh.
Yuvraj hit a spell binding 138 not out from just 78 balls to help propel India to a whopping score of 387-5 from their 50 overs, leaving England in trouble from the start.
Kevin Pietersen's men always struggled and in the end mustered just 229 all out to lose by 158 runs and start the seven-match series in the worst possible fashion.
Dhoni says it was critical to get a good start to the game, and after Yuvraj had provided the fireworks England were always on the back foot.
"It was critical to start on a good note. We lost the toss but we also wanted to field," Dhoni said.
"We bowled brilliantly and we knew the (England) batsmen had to take risks. We bowled in the right areas.
"On a day like this I don't think the opposition could do much (about Yuvraj). He was batting at his best.
"Everybody chipped in, but Yuvraj stood out."
Left-arm seamer Zaheer Khan said that he and the rest of the bowlers were desperate to back-up Yuvraj's good work with the bat.
Zaheer, who took 3-26, said he and his team-mates kept things tight knowing England needed to take all the risks to chase such a big total.
"I saw him (Yuvraj) smile after a long time and that's a good thing," Zaheer said. "I'm sure he'll be continuing the good work in the series.
"It was so important after the batsmen gave us a score more than we required.
"It was a matter of getting the ball in the right areas and applying pressure by bowling dot balls."
Yuvraj, unsurprisingly handed the Man of the Match award, admitted his knock was one of the best of his career.
Wearing a protective strapping around his troubled back, the 26-year-old still smashed 16 fours and four sixes.
"I've had a couple of bad months with not being in the Test side," Yuvraj said.
"But I am coming back to my best and to hit a knock like that was a good effort.
"It was one of my best innings in one-day cricket.
"We were thinking 350 would be a good score but we got more than that so we were happy."