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Dhoni's priority is to test reserves, not aiming at record

cricket Updated: Feb 04, 2009 10:57 IST
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Satisfied with the series win, Indian skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni will prefer to test his reserve field instead of aiming at their record ninth straight win in the remainder of five-match ODI against Sri Lanka.

India thrashed hosts Sri Lanka by 147 runs in the third ODI on Tuesday not only to seal the series with a 3-0 unbeatable lead but also equal their own record of winning eight ODIs on the trot.

Dhoni said fielding reserve players -- so that they too get a chance to prove their mettle -- was more important than retaining the winning squad in pursuit of their record ninth straight ODI win.

"We are not looking at the record. Rather, we will give chance to players who didn't get a chance to play in the series so far," Dhoni after the match on Tuesday night.

"We are 3-0 up and have already won the series. It gives us an opportunity to play those players. For us, this is the priority.

"The team is not looking at the record but giving chance to those players," Dhoni said.

Looking at Tuesday's match, Dhoni said the 221-run stand between Yuvraj Singh (117) and Virender Sehwag (116) made all the difference.

"They way they batted, it was just brilliant. They forced the Lankan bowlers to bowl in bad areas by scoring off the good deliveries," Dhoni observed.

His opposite number Mahela Jayawardene also echoed his view and said the hosts could not recover from the thrashing.

"The way Yuvraj and Viru batted, they played really well. They raised 200-plus runs and that set up the match for them," he said.