Visakhapatnam: India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni on Wednesday praised the batting department for scripting a five-wicket win over Australia in the second ODI, which also helped the hosts take an unassailable 1-0 lead in the three-match series.
“Yuvraj (Singh) and (Virat) Kohli got us back in the game and (Suresh) Raina supported Kohli well in the end. We wanted to see how much dew was around, I thought the spinners would get more turn but it turned out to be much flatter.
“(Cameron) White took the attack apart, but with Suresh Raina at the crease with one Powerplay to go I knew we had a chance. And Yuvraj, it was very important for him to get runs,” Dhoni said after the match.
Kohli smashed a career-best 118, while Raina’s 71 not out and Yuvraj’s 58 also played crucial role.
“Kohli has been often criticised for giving away good starts and he batted perfectly today. We’ll look to win the third game as well. We have eight to 10 games before the World Cup and we want to achieve more than just winning the games,” he added.
Dhoni’s opposite number Michael Clarke also credited the Indian batsmen for making the difference.
“Cameron White’s innings was unbelievable, I thought 290 was enough but India chased well. We’ll try to rebuild. We are disappointed with the result. We’ll try to do better in the first 15 overs in the second game,” he said.
However, he was happy with the efforts of his bowlers and said, “John Hastings did a fantastic job, (Mitchell) Starc has a bright future for Australia.”
Meanwhile, Man of the Match Kohli said he was struggling with his cramp during the winning effort.
“I was struggling with cramps in my 70s and 80s. I just wanted to drag the game as much as I could to put my team in a winning position. (Murali) Vijay suggested that I just time the ball than hit it too hard. He helped calm me down.
“With Yuvraj batting at the other end, it’s always helpful because he can score quickly and take the pressure off you. We just decided to build a partnership and bank on the Powerplay,” he said.
Asked about batting at number three position, he said, “The team has shown trust in me to bat at No 3 and I’ll just look to capitalise. Once the dew came in, the ball was coming on quite nicely and we tried to take advantage on that.”