Dhoni lauds bowlers for Hamilton victory

March 21st, 2009 - 8:18 pm ICT by IANS  

Sachin Tendulkar Hamilton, March 21 (IANS) Indian skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni Saturday praised his bowlers after the team’s historic win over New Zealand in the first cricket Test here, saying they justified his decision to field first.
India Saturday beat New Zealand by 10 wickets here to take a 1-0 lead in the three match series. It is the first time since 1976 that India had beat Black Caps in their own backyard.

“The bowlers proved that my decision to field was right. We got six early wickets. The pitch became easy to bat on after lunch (on the first day) and it became difficult to take wickets,” Dhoni explained.

“Our seamers bowled well. They depend a lot on swing except Ishant (Sharma) who is tall and looks to hit the right areas,” he said.

The New Zealand attack might have faced flak for lacking sting but Dhoni felt they did a good job.

“I think their bowlers bowled in right areas. It was hard to score against them even though they couldn’t get wickets.”

Dhoni also lauded Sachin Tendulkar’s knock of 160 and Harbhajan’s career best away figures of 6-63 that proved crucial in India’s win.

“Sachin was at his best. He made the most out of bad deliveries and made bowlers stay long in the field. It was a fantastic innings from him.

“There was not much for Harbhajan in the first innings. But he got some help in the second innings as the pitch became good for spinners,” Dhoni added.

New Zealand captain Daniel Vettori said his bowlers lacked consistency.

“They (India) outplayed us in all departments. Their top order thrives on boundaries and we gave them far too many. The small ground and fast outfield made it more difficult for us,” Vettori said.

“Tendulkar gave us a fine example of how we should bat and I hope our young players are learning.”

“We have seen teams bounce back from 1-0 down. This will be an ultimate test for us. Hopefully we can come back in the second Test and put pressure on India,” Vettori contended.

Tendulkar, who was also the Man of the Match for the Test, said he enjoyed his time in the middle.

“It was tough initially but once I got used to the bounce and when the new ball was taken, I grew more comfortable. I was moving my feet better. I found the centre of the bat after a long time,” he said.

About his stomach injury Tendulkar said: “The stomach is fine. The finger is little sore. But I am okay,” he added.

The second Test will begin at Napier Thursday.

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