It wasn’t as easy a win as it looked: DhoniNovember 9th, 2011 - 5:34 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi, Nov 9 (IANS) India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni Wednesday said the five-wicket win against the West Indies with almost a day and a half to spare might look easy but was actually tough as the Ferozeshah Kotla wicket had nothing much for the bowlers and the batsmen.
“It was not an easy game for us because it was not an easy wicket to score. You had to be aware of the ball that kept low. The batsmen who have scored runs in this match have spent long hours and faced lot of deliveries,” said Dhoni after India took a 1-0 lead in the three-match series.
“There was nothing much for the bowlers and the batsmen. It was a typical Kotla track. I wish the Eden Gardens track will offer us something better,” he said.
Asked if it was the ideal way to start the three-match series, Dhoni said: “If we had a first innings lead I would have said it was the perfect way to start the series. But the way we batted in the first innings it showed that obviously we lacked a few things.”
It was India’s maiden victory against the West Indies at the Kotla. India also equalled the second successful run chase at home. Ironically, the visitors had successfully chased an identical target at the same venue in 1987.
Dhoni said the batsmen didn’t play well in the first innings and hoped the team will put up a better show in the remaining two Test matches.
A spirited display by the young West Indies bowling attack skittled out India for 209 runs in the first innings and gave the visitors a surprise 95-run.
“That was a big lead. We all felt we did not bat the way we should in the first innings, we said we will have to make it up,” said Dhoni.
Dhoni also lauded his spinners Pragyan Ojha and debutant Ravichandran Ashwin. Both the bowlers picked up their maiden five-wicket haul in the match. Left-arm spinner Ojha, playing a Test match after a year, picked up 6/72 in the first innings and returned with a match haul of seven for 109.
Off-spinner Ashwin completely turned the match in India’s favour on the third day when he picked up his fifer, six for 47, that restricted the West Indies for 180 in the second innings and set the hosts a competitive target of 276.
The 25-year-old engineering graduate finished with a match haul of nine for 128, the second best by an Indian debutant after Narendra Hirwani’s 16 for 136 also against the West Indies in 1988.
“The bowlers grabbed the opportunities despite the fact that there was not much for them on this track. Ojha, playing a Test match after a year, did well and Ashwin, playing his first match was also good. Ashwin has got a few variations and he was supported by the other bowlers. Another debutant Umesh Yadav bowled better in the second innings as compared to the first,” he said.
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