Cricket World cup 2015: Mahendra Singh Dhoni happy with workout in Zimbabwe win
India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni was delighted to see his team cope with the pressure of chasing down Zimbabwe`s 287 on Saturday, insisting the extensive workout will help them in the World Cup knockout rounds.
Auckland: India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni was delighted to see his team cope with the pressure of chasing down Zimbabwe`s 287 on Saturday, insisting the extensive workout will help them in the World Cup knockout rounds.
Zimbabwe stretched the defending champions after skipper Brendan Taylor smashed a fine 138 before the Africans reduced them to 92-4 in reply.
But Suresh Raina then made the most of his good fortune after twice being dropped to hit 110 not out while Dhoni was unbeaten on 85 as India overcame the jitters to achieve their best World Cup chase in 48.4 overs.
The win was India`s sixth in six games ahead of their March 19 quarter-final against Bangladesh in Melbourne.
"I think it couldn`t have been better in the sense 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," said Dhoni.
"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."
Indian spinner Ravichandran Ashwin went for 75 runs in his ten overs for one wicket while fellow slow bowler Ravindra Jadeja conceded 71 without any reward in as many overs.
India then lost four key wickets before Raina and Dhoni put on an unbroken 195-run stand for the fifth wicket.
"Winning, of course, was very important, but the knock by Raina was crucial coming at number five," said Dhoni.
"More often than not you don`t get an opportunity. You get in to bat maybe after the 38th, 39th over if your top order is batting well and you have to slog it out, so you play the big shot, you get out, you don`t score too many runs.
"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.
"Overall that`s one of the main reasons why I would say it was a good game for us, and all the batsmen, also, they were under pressure."
Dhoni denied his team was not feeling the pressure, like they did in the 2011 World Cup staged at home.
"We have the same kind of pressure. I`ve said it so many times, 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. A few times, there have been instances where we are down, but from that position, also, we have come back strongly and we have done well."