Dhoni lavishes praise on Kohli and bowlers for win against Pak
Colombo: Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni on Sunday heaped praise on his bowlers and batsman Virat Kohli for the eight-wicket thrashing of Pakistan in their Super Eights match of World Twenty20 and said that a calm approach had helped his side in winning the high-voltage fixture.
"The team responded well and the bowlers bowled really well to restrict Pakistan to a small total. After a couple of overs (in Pakistan innings), we settled down, Zak (Zaheer Khan) and Irfan Pathan bowled well," Dhoni said after the match.
"The part-time bowlers did a very good job and that was crucial as we were playing with seven batsmen," he said.
"Then Virat played an excellent innings. Viru (Virender Sehwag) also batted well. We lost Gauti (Gautam Gambhir) early, that`s was a setback because he can play spin really well," he added.
Asked about man-of-the-match Kohli`s consistent form, Dhoni said he was happy that the youngster was taking up responsibility.
"It`s good that Kohli is taking the responsibility. He has been someone who has been consistent in the last one and half years. It is good that a batsman has been in consistent form and others are revolving around him," said the skipper.
India were thrashed by Australia in their first Super Eights match on Friday but Dhoni said that his side was not desperate to win today`s game.
"We were not desperate to win today. I always felt that if you are desperate for a win, you put more pressure on yourself. There is no point doing that. We want to live in the present and not think too far ahead of ourselves," he said.
"We had a very relaxed dressing room atmosphere. Before the match started today, I could see there were some positive energy among the players and I thought we would do well today," he said.
Kohli said that the key to his fine knock today was to remain calm.
"The key is to stay as calm as possible. In the last game I thought a bit too much. But today I was at my normal self, relaxed and calm. The idea is to play 10-15 overs and the team benefits from it," he said.
"It does not get any better for me than helping India win against Pakistan. It was a high-pressure game. God has been kind to me, I am being able to help India win matches," he added.
He said the wicket was slow in the first innings (when Pakistan batted) and it got better under lights.
A disappointed Pakistan captain Mohammad Hafeez also praised Kohli for his fine knock on a difficult track.
"It was a difficult pitch to bat on but Kohli was excellent. We were hoping to get him out and put pressure on the rest but we couldn`t do that," he said.
Asked if it was a mental block that Pakistan have never beaten India in a World Cup game, Hafeez said, "Not really. We wanted to win. We just did not get the partnerships. We were aiming for 150 total but we could not do that.
"We dropped some catches also and we need to improve in our fielding also," he said.
"We still have a chance. We have to work hard now and come back with some positive energy and win against Australia," he added.
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