Dhoni lauds Ashwin's performance

Partnerships at the right time helped us, says Indian captain

Indian skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni on Wednesday lauded R Ashwin for producing brilliant efforts with the bat and ball that helped India beat Sri Lanka by four wickets.

“Since PK had an off day, it was important that somebody took the responsibility, and Ashwin did that. He bowled spells in the first and second Power Plays and the rest in the slog overs. It was very impressive bowling. I think he took it as a challenge, bowled in the right areas and contributed with the bat as well,” Dhoni told reporters.

However, Dhoni admitted that shot selection ought to have been better from the top-order batsmen. “I’m happy with the win. I agree that there were a few shots that we shouldn’t have played, but mistakes do happen. But it’s good that we ended up on the winning side. We could have lost this game also. It gives us a chance to come back, and hopefully we won’t repeat the mistakes in the coming games,” he said.

On the status of Virat Kohli, who limped off the field after getting run-out, Dhoni said, “It’s just cramps and at the moment I don’t think it’s serious.”

Dhoni also said stitching together partnerships at the right time helped India. “Once I got out and Virat got run out, we entered a stage where the game could have gone either way. It looked more as if it would go the Sri Lankan way because they had Malinga and with his sling-arm action he could’ve knocked one of our last recognised batsmen. But the batsmen got the partnership going.”

On the rotation policy of the seniors, Dhoni said, “I’d look to rotate the openers as we want to give Rohit the chance to play as much as possible. We’ll see, but going the way we are now, we’ll look to rotate the openers.”

On his stunning catch to dismiss Kumar Sangakkara, the Jharkhandi said, “It was a good fluke. You feel happy when flukes happen. It’s not like I don’t express my happiness, but while the boys are celebrating the fall of a wicket, I tend to start thinking about the next batsman who is going to come in and what plans to do, and the areas that need to be concentrated upon. I’m the happiest. Being a skipper you want the bowlers to pick wickets and batsmen to score runs.”

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