Dhoni admits pressure was on India

August 20th, 2008 - 10:05 pm ICT by IANS  

Dambulla, Aug 20 (IANS) After his side’s scrappy three-wicket victory over Sri Lanka in the second one-day international here Wednesday, India’s captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni admitted his side was under pressure after their loss in the series opener Monday.”We needed to win before we went to Premadasa for the remainder of the series. There was lot of pressure on us, but Zaheer did the job for us. We would have loved to win comfortably, but nevertheless we would take this,” said Dhoni, who top scored with 39 runs after Indian batting crumbled once again on the Sri Lankan soil.

“We didn’t want to put pressure on anyone and even called off the team meeting. You can discuss 1,000 things and that itself can put pressure on you. We just allowed everyone to mentally prepare for the game,” he further added.

Dhoni promoted himself to number five after the loss of four early wickets and added a vital 60 runs for the sixth wicket to put Indians back in the game. “Promoting myself up the order worked, but credit should go to Badri (Subramaniam Badrinath). He batted well on debut. He hadn’t played Muralitharan and Mendis before and it’s good to see him doing so well,” he added.

The teams will move to capital Colombo Thursday. The next game is scheduled for Sunday followed by more games August 26 and 29.

“It’s good to have a break ahead of the next game. If we had lost here, we would have been really down,” Dhoni said.

Left-arm seamer Zaheer Khan , who has had a good tour so far walked away with the man of the match award having picked up four early wickets after captain Dhoni elected to bowl.

“You need to be consistent. My responsibility is to provide early breakthroughs. I just bowled within myself. It was important to keep in the right areas and I thought all the bowlers did well to restrict Sri Lanka,” Zaheer said.

Sri Lanka’s captain Mahela Jayawardene, meanwhile, admitted his batsmen hadn’t shown the application on a wicket that assisted seam movement. After the hosts were reduced to 44 for six, they were playing catch up having exposed the tail too early.

“This is a wicket that we are not used to. It’s very fresh wicket that makes batting a bit difficult. But it’s a good wicket and has a good bounce. You need to survive against the new ball,” Jayawardene explained.

Despite the poor effort with the bat, the Sri Lankan bowlers hit back when they reduced the tourists 75 for five, but failed to break the partnership between Dhoni and Badrinath.

“At one stage, it was nicely set up. After reducing them for 75 for five, we could have won the game, but that partnership for the sixth wicket was crucial. That took the game away from us,” Jayawardene, who made two runs during the Sri Lankan innings, said.

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