Terrific show by the bowlers: Dhoni
Johannesburg: India skipper Mahendra Singh lavished rich praise on his bowlers after their stunning show in the second one-day international against South Africa, which helped the team level the five-match series.
"It`s a big win for us, and a terrific show by the bowlers. Munaf (Patel) has been bowling really well in the last 10-15 one-dayers and besides that, Harbhajan`s role too was crucial," Dhoni said after India`s one-run win at the New Wanderers Stadium here.
"When Harbhajan came on to bowl they decided not to take on his bowling and the lost the momentum there. So, his role was very crucial," Dhoni added.
Asked about Yuvraj Singh`s innings, Dhoni said, "Yuvraj is our main batsman in the middle order. It`s important for him to get off to a good start and it`s always a treat to watch him once he gets his eye in."
Yuvraj top-scored for India with a fluent half century and was involved in a crucial 83-run partnership for the fourth wicket with his skipper. But his dismissal triggered a collapse from which India could never recover.
"It was a very good wicket and I think we were 40-45 runs short. We wanted to take the powerplay just before Yuvraj got out and then, when we took it, Raina got out. But the openers got off to a sound start," Dhoni said.
"Three games to go, it makes it interesting. We are expecting some tough cricket," he said.
Graeme Smith, who reached 6000 ODI runs today, lauded the Indian bowlers, especially Munaf, but felt some bad decisions pushed his team on the backfoot."We`ve got to be honest and can`t take the credit from India, they put up really good show. But there were a few of bad decisions," Smith said.
"Munaf bowled well, especially the slower one," he added.
Smith was also pleased with Lonwabo Tsotsobe`s bowling. He picked up his second successive four-wicket haul, today.
Despite dominating for a major part of the match, South Africa lost, and Smith felt things went wrong in the last 25 overs of their innings."We played well in the first 50 overs, batted well for the first 25 overs but the last 25 overs didn`t go well."
"We hope to improve and do things right in the next match, things we did wrong today," Smith said.
Man of the Match, Munaf Patel, said he focused on bowling to a good line and length. "Initially, I concentrated on line and length, but used the slower balls later on," Munaf said.
"I was thinking about my local crowd who are here, so I was under a bit of pressure, because they would otherwise come to my hotel room," Munaf joked when asked what was going through his ind when he was bowling those crucial overs.