Gained a lot from the game: Dhoni

Gained a lot from the game: Dhoni

Gained a lot from the game: Dhoni

 For the first time in six matches India were stretched before they came on top but MS Dhoni saw it as a blessing in disguise.

“I think it couldn't have been better,” said Dhoni when asked about the workout Zimbabwe gave them in their final group match here on Saturday. “If you're playing the last game of the league stage, and if you get an easy win, you don't get a lot out of that game. What was good was the spinners were put under pressure, and also we lost quick wickets initially, and that actually put our middle and lower middle-order under pressure, so we gained a lot out of it,” he noted.

 The Indian skipper was obviously happy with Suresh Raina’s unbeaten century that helped India recover from a precarious 92/4 position. “Winning, of course, was very important, but the knock by Raina was very crucial coming at No 5,” he began. “More often than not you don't get an opportunity (to bat early). You get in to bat maybe after the 38th, 39th over if your top order is batting well.

“You have to slog it out then and so you play the big shot, you get out, you don't score too many runs… At the end of the day when you get into the knockout stages you want to have runs under your belt. It doesn't really matter how many runs, but once you get going, it just gives you that good feeling, which I feel is important in the knockout stages,” he offered.

 The Indian spinners – R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja – went for plenty on Saturday but Dhoni’s wasn’t perturbed by that. “I think, he has bowled decently well in patches,” Dhoni said of Jadeja. “He's still improving, and overall, he's a key ingredient, the reason being it gives us that hope (while batting), and we have put in a lot of effort and time in him since the last World Cup.

“He has been a regular part of the team, and he has actually done really well for us. I'm quite happy with the way he's bowling. I won't really consider today's game because both Ashwin and him, they went for shorter boundaries and it was difficult, and the way (Brendan) Taylor was batting, he took them on. Overall quite happy with how they have bowled,” he analysed.

Dhoni didn’t agree that the pressure on the Indian team was less in this World Cup compared to the one at home in 2011. “We have the same kind of pressure,” Dhoni stressed. “Irrespective of which team we play or which tournament we play, we are under pressure.

The good thing, the boys are quite used to it. I think from an experience point of view, there may not be too many people in the team who have played 200 or 250 games, but the fluctuation in our performance in the last few years, including in Tests, it just pushes the guys to new ways as to how you can get out of pressure. You have this constant pressure on you and still perform and keep the morale high,” he reasoned.