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'Shoaib's spell fiery'

Asked about the beamer he faced from Shoaib, Dhoni said it could have been unintentional.

india Updated: Jan 25, 2006 10:40 IST
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India

India's batting hero in the second Test, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, described his match-saving counter-attacking knock as a calculated risk he had to take considering the tricky situation his team was in on Tuesday.

"It was a calculated risk. I had to go for my strokes at some point of time and I decided that it was the right time and I should go for it," said the 24-year-old Ranchi-born player who made 148 in 152 balls, hitting 19 fours and four sixes.

Dhoni, who rescued the sinking Indian innings from 281 for five with his maiden century and a record sixth wicket partnership with Irfan Pathan, said he wanted to first check the pace and bounce of the wicket before going for his shots.

"It was a challenge for me. I just wanted to hang in there for a while, get adjusted to the bounce and pace of the wicket."

Asked which had been the most special congratulatory message he had received for his knock, Dhoni promptly referred to Kapil Dev's remarks in Mumbai on Tuesday in which the legendary all-rounder said "Dhoni is my hero".

Dhoni said Shoaib Akhtar's spell with the new ball on Tuesday afternoon was a fiery one.

"It was quite fiery. I believe he was consistently bowling over 148 kph. It was something really fast."

Asked about the beamer he faced from the 'Rawalpindi Express', Dhoni said the ball must have just slipped out of his hands.

"Of course a beamer always surprises you and yes, I was a bit surprised," he said, adding it could have been unintentional.

Akhtar was thrashed by the Indian stumper for two consecutive fours prior to the beamer for which he was no-balled and also warned by umpire Simon Taufel.

The youngster from Jharkhand described the wicket at the Iqbal Stadium here as the best he had ever played on.

"It's the best batting wicket I have ever played on," said Dhoni, who singled out leg spinner Danish Kaneria for punishment on Monday before being stumped off the same bowler on Tuesday.

First Published: Jan 25, 2006 10:40 IST