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Dhoni’s six pack

cricket Updated: Jul 06, 2009 21:12 IST

Hindustan Times
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Mahendra Singh Dhoni may not have been aware that he had just led his team to a sixth consecutive ODI series win when rain washed out the final ODI against West Indies in St Lucia on Sunday and gave them the series 2-1.

This series win equalled a streak previously achieved when Rahul Dravid was captain of the ODI team. In 2006-07 the Indian team beat West Indies, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Ireland, South Africa and Scotland.

However Dhoni did know that it was his team’s third win on the trot abroad. “I think we really have a very good side,” he said, beginning a rather simple explanation. When pressed, the skipper lavished credit on his bowlers for making this possible.

“It’s a pleasure to win series out of the country. The bowlers took the initiative, we have a very good bowling attack and the youngsters who came in and got a chance have proved himself.”

Traditionally batting has always been India’s strength. In the lead up to this series, with Zaheer Khan injured, the fast bowling department was under a bit of pressure, especially with Ishant Sharma struggling.

However, Ashish Nehra, making a comeback, picked up important wickets both at the top of the innings and at death. Ishant, used in different roles, raised his game as the series unfolded. “Throughout the series if you see we batted first because there was something on offer for the fast bowlers,” said Dhoni.

“Ishant was concentrating more on what he needs to do rather than looking at the batsman. Today he was bowling in the right areas and there was a bit help in the pitch for the fast bowlers,” Dhoni said of Ishant. “In earlier matches he was bowling one change but today he looked a totally different bowler with the new ball.”

The team can now look forward to a spell of rest with their next assignment being a tri-series in Sri Lanka, also featuring New Zealand, in September. The team will then play the Champions Trophy in South Africa following which several players will take part in the Champions League Twenty20 tournament in India.