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Dhoni said team not chasing record, to field reserve players

cricket Updated: Feb 04, 2009 12:12 IST

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The series in pocket, India will field reserve players in the next two ODIs against Sri Lanka even if that compromises the team's prospects of registering their record ninth victory on the trot, victorious captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni said in Colombo on Tuesday night.

Tonight's 147-run win not only seals the series for his men but also equals India's record of winnings eight ODIs on the trot.

Dhoni, however, insists 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 said.

"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.