We have set a benchmark for future teams: Dhoni

April 7th, 2009 - 7:15 pm ICT by IANS  

Ross Taylor Wellington, April 7 (IANS) After leading India to victory in New Zealand here Tuesday, Mahendra Singh Dhoni said his team has set a benchmark for future teams.
Rain helped New Zealand draw the third and final Test, but India secured their first series win (1-0) on New Zealand soil since 1968.

“We have achieved something big, we have set a benchmark and the next team will be under pressure to sustain it.

“It will be tougher for the next guys who come here, people will expect you to win,” Dhoni said.

Dhoni defended his decision to not declare early and setting a huge winning total of 617 runs knowing that rain is a possibility

“It is bit disappointing not to win this Test. You can’t really bank on the weather. With two days of play, we knew it may rain, but at that point of time, it was not certain.” Dhoni said.

“With the amount of wind that goes around, there was a very good chance that the clouds would have been blown away also. We were quite comfortable batting; if we had got 110-120 overs, we thought we would get them out.”

He said he expected a minimum of 110 overs to bowl out New Zealand.

India started their five week tour with back-to-back losses in the Twenty 20 format in February but bounced back to win the one-day series 3-1 before the all-important first Test triumph by 10 wickets in Hamilton last month.

Six previous Indian touring sides had been unable to match the deeds of the 1968 squad in winning in New Zealand, so Dhoni heads home contented.

“Everybody contributed. Each and every batsman scored at some point and the same with the bowlers,” he said.

Harbhajan led the bowling stats of both sides with 16 wickets at 21.37 while opener Gautam Gambhir’s aggregate of 445 at 89 also beat all comers.

New Zealand skipper Daniel Vettori admitted the series could not be saved once India recovered from 204 for six to post 379 in their first innings here — and New Zealand were rolled for 197 Saturday.

However, he was encouraged by a plucky 142-run stand for the fifth wicket between Ross Taylor and James Franklin.

“The fight that Ross and James showed to give us even a chance of saving the game was pleasing.”

Vettori has presided over New Zealand’s first winless home summer of Test cricket since the West Indies, South Africa and Sri Lanka toured during 1994-95 but he still believed there were positive signs for the future.

“We dominated the last Test and we played pretty well against the West Indies (drawn 0-0 in December).

“We do things well for a period of time but the longevity of what we do is the thing that’s causing us the most stress and causing me the most stress,” Vettori said.

Vettori cited the development of Jesse Ryder, who followed his maiden test hundred in Hamilton with 201 in Napier, Taylor’s consecutive tons and the re-emergence of veteran fast bowler Chris Martin, who was New Zealand’s leading wicket taker with 14 at 32.17, as positives from the series.

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