My dismissal was crucial, says MSD

Mahendra Singh Dhoni felt that his dismissal was the turning point of the first one-day match against England here on Friday.

India needed 55 off 37 balls when Dhoni, who had hit four mighty sixes to light up the SCA stadium, fell while attempting to clear the boundary, effectively ending India’s hopes of surmounting England’s mammoth 325/4.

“When my wicket fell, that became quite crucial,” pointed out Dhoni after the match. “If I had batted two more overs, the game would have changed. Yes, the last couple of overs were (not good) in the sense that we gave away a few too many runs. But I think we got off to a very good start, almost all the batsmen got among runs. It was important to keep wickets in hand because we knew the last 10 overs would be crucial in the sense that with five fielders inside, you can really put pressure on the bowlers. But that was not really the case,” the Indian skipper rued.

Dhoni also defended his move to exclude pacer Shami Ahmed, who had given an impressive account of himself in the Delhi one-dayer against Pakistan. “Well if you see, the wicket for the game he played was really seaming. We have to look how good is he when it comes to bowling yorkers and on wickets like these where there is not much to offer for the fast bowlers,” he reasoned.

A score of 280-290, Dhoni felt, was par for the course. “In one-dayers, more often than not, you get wickets like these. Yes, it may be more on the flatter side but if you look at Rajkot, it’s always known as a batting venue. And also not to forget the outfield, it was really fast. On a normal, good ground this could have been a 270-280 score. You know that once you push into the gap there’s a boundary for you.”

It was chaos once again at the press conference with the stadium lights being switched off for a laser show. Dhoni answered three questions and walked off while his English counterpart Alistair Cook had to address the media in darkness.

Prior to this win, England has just one win in 15 one-dayers on Indian soil and first after 10 consecutive losses. Cook was obviously delighted with the result. “It’s important, for the main reason that it gives us the confidence. I mean it’s pretty much the same squad that we had last time out here when we lost 5-0.”

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