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Dhoni lauds youngsters' performance

New Delhi, Mar 24, 2013, DHNS: 0:59 IST
It was not easy being Mahendra Singh Dhoni just a few weeks ago. Losses abroad and at home had raised a pitch for his replacement.

A 4-0 historic victory over Australia has once again restored his lost aura. A relieved Dhoni admitted it was tough period for the team and revealed how he adapted himself to the needs of the young team. Dhoni said it was important to train the youngsters who were likely to be around for another decade.

“I had to change a bit, the reason being that the line-up has entirely changed. The bowling line-up is quite the same, but the batting line-up has changed a lot, almost completely. Which means you have to tell the youngsters what needs to be done, what went wrong and all those things,” Dhoni told reporters after winning the fourth and last Test here.

“It was a good series for us. There are plenty of individuals who did really well, quite a few bowlers, quite a few batsmen.”

Dhoni said the team laid emphasis on partnerships during the tough times. “The fact that you learn a lot more when you’re going through a rough period compared to the good times when everything goes your way. We were able to implement the learning in this particular series. We laid a lot of emphasis on partnerships. Dhoni was all praise for Ravichandran Ashwin who took 29 wickets in the series.

“He was facing a bit of pressure and I think it was very important to come back in the right frame of mind because people talk a lot of different things. Being the lead bowler, he performed really well in this series. Whenever we needed an important wicket, he was always there,” he said.

Dhoni said he was delighted with the performance of new bowlers in the series.
“The openers have performed really well. Shikhar batted really well in the last game, Vijay batted well over a period of time. I’m really impressed with Pujara. He got injured in the first innings yet he came out to open for us and score those big runs,” the skipper said.

“Jadeja has done really well with the ball and slowly he’s getting into that thing of scoring runs. He may take a little bit of time but it’s very important that we have a youngster like him who can bowl consistently and bat a bit. So that once we go abroad, or different conditions, we till have five bowlers in the bowling line-up.”

Dhoni said he was glad to have coach Duncan Fletcher. “He had a tough time, let’s all admit that. But I think he is someone who knows the game really well. His technical knowledge of batting is immense. He has seen some good ODI performances but this is the best we have performed under him,” he said.

On India’s upcoming tour to South Africa. Dhoni said: “I stay in the present. There is plenty of time. Let’s not speculate about who will be there and who won’t be.”

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