March 17, 2010

Dhoni-leading from the front

Kolkata: If at all there was an example of captain leading from the front, then it was Mahendra Singh Dhoni. He made a critical half-century despite suffering a painful blow on his right arm, then came out to keep wickets, skippered the side, thought on his feet to mastermind a brilliant victory for Chennai Super Kings against Kolkata Knight Riders, here last night.

Yet, he was modest enough to congratulate all his mates, especially the bowlers, while downplaying his own contribution to his team’s first win in two matches of the IPL-3 season.

After recovering to make 164 for three from 55 for three, the Super Kings dismissed the Knight Riders for 109 to record a resounding victory. Dhoni, quite deservingly, was adjudged Man of the Match for his unbeaten 66.

While complimenting his bowlers, Dhoni said: “We tended to bowl on the shorter side and this is something we need to work on. We must learn from every game.”

He admitted to being under pressure, not only after losing the opening game to Deccan Chargers at home on Sunday, but also when the team was 55 for three in the 10th over.

“The pressure is always there and it is the same for every team. After the Chennai game, we had some team discussions and they were very healthy in nature. We knew that it was important to take early wickets with the new ball and tonight, we put the ball in the right areas,” he said.

On the team’s batting performance, Dhoni said: “We knew that a total around 150 would be competitive because the pitch was on the slower side and yes, it feels very good to win our first game.”

However, Dhoni, quite typically, cautioned against euphoria. “We should improve further in some of the areas,” he said.

About the knock on his elbow, Dhoni said: “I am surviving. I might get an x-ray done, but otherwise, I am fine.”

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