Relieved Dhoni praises Badrinath
On the day, victory threatened to elude India, and it took a determined stand between debutant Badrinath and skipper Dhoni to see the team home. Anand Vasu reports.cricket Updated: Aug 20, 2008 23:47 IST
You can't underestimate the importance of winning in sport, and Mahendra Singh Dhoni's Indian team received a shot in the arm through India's tight win in the second match at Dambulla. "A win is a good habit to have. You know you can deal with them, you had a good fight in the game," said Dhoni. "You can now look into the eye of the opponents and say if we play good cricket we can definitely beat you."
On the day, victory threatened to elude India, and it took a determined stand between debutant Badrinath and skipper Dhoni to see the team home. "Badri is very talented and that's why he's here. He has performed very well on the domestic circuit and on 'A' tours," said Dhoni. "It's good to have him. In his first game he was under pressure, especially playing Murali and Mendis, and he played them very well. He took up the challenge, the responsibility and scored those runs. He showed some character out there."
Mahela Jayawardene too did not skimp on praise when asked about Badri. "He is a talented batsman and a very busy player. He played well for a debutant but I think he's got a lot of experience playing domestic cricket in India," said Jayawardene. "We knew his capabilities, he played in the IPL also, so we knew who he was."
Jayawardene also credited Zaheer Khan for the spell he bowled. "When we went out to bat, we thought 175 would have been a good score. We had to make sure we didn't lose too many wickets up front and drag the game as much as possible," he said. "They bowled good areas, Zaheer bowled really well up front and that's his job to try and pick up wickets. They played four quicks and we had to get through that and unfortunately we couldn't do that."
Jayawardene felt that the Dhoni-Badrinath partnership was the difference between the two teams. "When you are defending 140, you always try to stop runs and pick up wickets at the same time. We picked up wickets when we needed them and we were just one wicket away from opening up the tail," he said. "We tried everything but the partnership between Dhoni and Badrinath took the game away from us and the 60 runs they put on was probably the difference. If we had taken another wicket, we would have opened up one end and probably created more opportunities."