Bowlers earn Dhoni praise
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Last Updated: 05/11/07 3:26pm
Dhoni: led from the front
Mahendra Singh Dhoni hailed his bowlers after India made a winning start to the one-day series against Pakistan.
"They have been doing well consistently. They did well in the last series as well and these conditions favour the spinners. But you still have to bowl well and they did that superbly. "
Mahendra Singh Dhoni on India's spinners Quotes of the week
Pakistan batsman Mohammad Yousuf stroked an unbeaten 83, but the tourists were restricted to just 239-7 from their 50 overs after opting to bat first in Guwahati.
Dhoni and Yuvraj Singh both contributed half-centuries as India chased down their target with 18 balls to spare for a five-wicket success to move 1-0 ahead in the five-match series.
"When we are playing Pakistan we need to get off to a good start in the series," said Dhoni.
"Initially the Pakistan batsmen played well but then our bowlers realised the line and length they had to bowl on this track and pulled things back.
"But more importantly when they were in the field we made it a lot more difficult for them."
India's spin duo Harbahajan Singh and Murali Kartik bowled a combined 20 overs for just 65 runs during the middle part of Pakistan's innings.
"They have been doing well consistently," noted Dhoni. "They did well in the last series as well and these conditions favour the spinners.
"But you still have to bowl well and they did that superbly."
Dhoni earned the man-of-the-match award for his innings of 63 from 77 balls and confirmed afterwards that his decision to promote himself above Yuvraj to bat at number four was tactical.
"We felt we needed to change things a bit," he explained. "Yuvraj was padded up but we needed that left-hand right-hand combination."
Pakistan skipper Shoaib Malik vowed that his team will learn some hard lessons from the defeat and come back strongly in Thursday's second ODI in Mohali.
"I think 240 was defendable and we dropped two or three catches as well," he said.
"Also they got a very good start because of which they were able to achieve their targets. Our team spirit is fine and we are all working hard.
"We will learn from this game - we still have four more games to go and I hope we can perform well."