One of the best ODI innings: Dravid | india | Hindustan Times
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One of the best ODI innings: Dravid

Three victories on the trot, all set up by different players, has left India brimming with options. But captain Rahul Dravid cautioned his team-mates against getting carried away by the sheer high of winning.

india Updated: Nov 02, 2005 13:13 IST
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Three victories on the trot, all set up by different players, has left India brimming with options. But captain Rahul Dravid cautioned his team-mates against getting carried away by the sheer high of winning.

"We have put different people to bat in different positions and set up challenges to the players. The best thing is the players have responded to the challenges magnificently and that has given us a lot of options in this series," Dravid said.

"The side can afford to be flexible because we know now we have people who can do it, who are flexible and would adjust to various roles according to the needs of the team.

"But in all the success and glory of winning we have to look at areas in which we need improvement like today we bowled well for the first 30 overs but in the last 20 we could have done better," he said.

"It is a challenge how we can forget our past performances and prepare for the next game. Our focus will be on preparing well for the next game irrespective of this victory or our status in the series at this stage".

"We have got to keep raising the bar and perform consistently, there are certain areas where we need to improve and we will try to do that."

The skipper was profuse in his praise of Dhoni saying it was one of the best ODI innings ever.

"I have seen some great innings but while chasing probably it came close to Sachin's effort against Australia in Sharjah. It turned out to be a long session for him, he kept for 50 overs and then batted for 46 overs. It was a privilege to see him bat today. The important thing was he was right there till the end."

Dhoni said he only concentrated on batting out the 50 overs and did not think about the possibility of a double ton. "I just wanted to bat till the 50th over and hit the winning runs. And yes, when I was on 160, Adam Gilchrist's 172 was at the back of my mind," he said.

Asked what instruction was he given before he came out to bat, the Jharkhand player said "I was told to take singles off Muralitharan and attack the rest of the bowlers."

Asked about the cramps which troubled him later in his innings, Dhoni said "It was a long session for me, the cramps did trouble me but the physio helped me out, I don't think there are any fitness concerns, I should be fit for Pune.

Sri Lanka were left groping for answers. "We made a significant improvement from the first two matches which were disappointing to say the least. We can take a lot of positives as the team batted well but an exceptional innings from Dhoni took the match away from us," Lankan coach Tom Moody said.

"We don't see such knocks very often. It was a very special innings," he said.

"We have taken significant strides forward, There's no reason why we can't turn around and start winning. Yes, we have been beaten badly but again what we saw was something very special."

Moody said his bowlers could not do much with the way Dhoni was sending the ball around the park. "No matter where we bowled and how we bowled, he sent the ball flying. But it was good to see the team did not drop its head."

Asked what was the difference between the Indian side that toured Sri Lanka recently and the one now, Moody said "India is difficult to beat at home just like Sri Lanka. They are riding with confidence, their top order is firing. Different batsmen are coming down hard at us and scoring."