India v Pakistan, 2nd ODI, Visakhapatnam April 5, 2005

'I knew that even 350 might not be enough' - Dhoni

Mahendra Singh Dhoni made the most of the opportunity to bat up the order © AFP

At the post-match press conference Sourav Ganguly expressed satisfaction with India's win, saying that a 2-0 lead in the series would really put the pressure on Pakistan going into the third game at Jamshedpur. He also said he was pleased that the move to send in Mahendra Singh Dhoni at No. 3 had paid off so spectacularly.

"When I looked at the wicket in the morning it looked like it would crumble quite quickly, and might not even be good for batting for the first 50 overs," Ganguly said. "So the toss was absolutely crucial, and once we won it, it was important that we made as many runs as possible in the first 15 overs. That's why we made the decision to send Dhoni in and he played fantastically well."

Dhoni said he had been told by the team management that he might get an opportunity at No. 3 at some point in the series, and that he had been preparing for this in the nets. He said that the position was the one in which he felt the most comfortable anyway because he opens the batting or bats at No.3 in first-class cricket. Of his spectacular hitting after he got to his hundred, Dhoni remarked, "After I got to a hundred I felt it was important to push the scoring as much as possible so that we could make about 350. The ball was not doing anything off the pitch and I knew that even a score of 350 might not be enough."

Chandrahas Choushury is a staff writer with Wisden Asia Cricket.