Dhoni not game for 'bowl-out' | cricket | Hindustan Times
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Dhoni not game for 'bowl-out'

cricket Updated: Sep 15, 2007 23:18 IST
AV Nayudu
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Mahendra Singh Dhoni might have led India to a famous win through a 'bowl-out' against arch-rivals Pakistan in the Twenty20 World Cup, but the dashing wicket-keeper would not like to see cricket matches ending in such a fashion.

A beaming Dhoni was all praise for his side for snatching a thrilling 3-0 win via 'bowl out' after their inaugural Twenty 20 World Cup match ended in a tie.

It was only the second instance when a match has been decided in 'bowl out', which requires five players from each side aiming the stumps and the number of hits decides the winner.

"It really amuses you. Winning a cricket match 3-0! It doesn't happen every time," said Dhoni, who was leading India for the first time.

"But it is in the record books now; I can tell my friends, when I was captain my team won 3-0," he added sparking off a huge laughter.

"But I won't want to see a cricket match decided on a bowl out. The team plays so hard to get a result and it should always be decided on the field."

Dhoni showed some smart cricketing brain in preferring three slow bowlers in Virender Sehwag, Harbhajan Singh and Robin Uthappa for the 'bowl out' and they all hit the stumps.

Asked about his bowlers' amazing strike-rate in the 'bowl out', Dhoni traced down their effort to some vigorous practice in the last 48 hours.

"Whatever they (the bowlers) did, they were picked for that. They had practiced a lot for such an eventuality. Actually, Rohit Sharma is the best when it comes to bowl out, he has a cent percent record--but since he was not playing we had to rely on the other specialists," Dhoni said.

Asked what he told Sreesanth before he ran in to bowl the last ball of the match, he said, "I told him to be free, and control his mind. He's like a computer, he just has to bowl one ball but he might be thinking of bowling 100 different deliveries."

Dhoni appreciated the intensity his team showed in the big game and was also delighted to maintain India's splendid record of not losing to Pakistan in a World Cup game.

"It's a very pleasant feeling," he said. "We might have to play them again in this tournament but, if we do, we would like to keep that record going.

"I never take pressure whether it's India-Pakistan or any other game. As for my players they responded well. They were determined. They were focused. The intensity was good."

Dhoni admitted that, despite the batting not measuring up to the expectations, the bowlers turned it around for his team.
"We didn't start well. The wicket was doing a bit. It had some bounce and they had (Mohd) Asif, (Umar) Gul, and (Yaseer) Arafat who did a good job. We needed to take some time to get used to wicket.

"We didn't have a big score to defend. So we needed a good start with the ball. But the bowlers kept getting wickets at regular intervals. In the end, they managed to push the run-rate up 12-per over and that is not easy.