Dhoni?s ability to adapt gets kudos
Dravid showered accolades on Dhoni after his match-winning 67 steered India home against Lanka in the third ODI at Goa.india Updated: Feb 15, 2007 17:30 IST
Indian skipper Rahul Dravid showered accolades on Mahendra Singh Dhoni after the Jharkhand wicketkeeper slammed a match-winning 67 to steer India home in the Goa ODI against Sri Lanka.
“Dhoni has a mature head. He plays according to the situations. If we need a quick-fire innings, he plays that and if we need a controlled innings he plays that,” Dravid said after India posted a five wicket win on Tuesday.
Dhoni stitched a valuable stand of 133 runs with Dravid (66) that helped India recover from a precarious 94-4.
Dravid was furious at himself for getting out with four runs required for victory, although he was run out in unfortunate manner, when he backed too far and Dhoni's shot ricocheted off bowler Malinga Bandara's hand on to the non-striker's stumps.
The captain said he had wanted to stay till the end and did not want to repeat the mistake of last match when India, chasing a target of 258, slumped from 235 for five to be bowled out for 252.
“We did not want to lose another wicket at that stage. We know that it is not easy chasing on these wickets. We were totally determined to finish it off this time,” he said.
Dravid also praised Zaheer Khan (5-42) for his fiery bowling that destroyed the Sri Lanka top-order in the morning. “It was a great effort by the bowlers, specially Zaheer upfront. But 230 was a good score by Sri Lanka.”
Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardene said his side had never recovered from the bad start in the morning.
“We were set back right at the start - Sri Lanka were 6/3 - Zaheer bowled very well. But we made a good recovery and came back strongly,” he said.
“Rahul and Dhoni batted very well and they controlled the innings very well.”
Man-of-the match Zaheer Khan said, “The rhythm in the last few months has been good. I am happy to peak at the right time for the World Cup.”
Asked about his comeback in the Indian team and the stint in county cricket Zaheer said, “I did a lot of bowling there and that really helped.”