India v Bangladesh, World T20 2016, Group 2, Bangalore March 23, 2016

Dhoni says 'managing chaos' key to win

ESPNcricinfo staff
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'Pandya executed the plan well' - Dhoni

India captain MS Dhoni says his side's ability to stay calm under intense pressure was a key factor in escaping with a one-run win over Bangladesh in Bangalore. With India in danger of falling short of the semi-final stage, Dhoni's charges held their nerve and when asked afterward about the end of game situation he said it was important to keep cool in such hectic situations.

"In a situation like this, it's literally chaos. What you are trying to do is you're trying to manage chaos," Dhoni said after the match. "Everybody will come and he'll have his own opinion. Often the opinion of a batsman is very different to the opinion of a bowler. But what you have to do is you have to see what the strength of the batsman is who is batting at that point of time, how the wicket is behaving, whether there is some kind of reverse swing or no reverse swing on offer. All these things you need to calculate and I feel what really helps is you listen to all of them.

"But at the end of the day you push the bowler to bowl what you feel is good at that point of time. If I am convinced that this is something I want to do, I will go ahead with it but definitely having an open mind at that point of time really helps because at times in situations like these under pressure, that's where the input of others comes in. But you have to assess everything and it has to happen in a very short span of time."

Dhoni hailed the younger players in the India side for stepping up and performing in key roles. In particular, he gave credit to Jasprit Bumrah for overcoming a rough start to the second innings - a misfield turned boundary and a dropped chance off Tamim Iqbal were followed by four boundaries off Bumrah to Tamim in the sixth over - to bowl a crucial 17th and 19th overs, conceding 13 runs across the 12 deliveries.

"After the first misfield, if you see actually his international career, this was the first game where he was under pressure," Dhoni said. "It's not only the pressure of bowling. I consider him slightly weak when it comes to the fielding department and today's game was very important. We all knew how important it was. To start, the very first ball if you miss, as a youngster you are under pressure and I feel that actually reflected in his bowling also, then he dropped a catch.

"It's important at that point of time to tell him that it doesn't really matter because what has happened has happened. You can't do anything about it. Even if you sit there for half an hour, the batsman won't get out. What was important was to get away from it and at the same time try to execute your plans, what your strength is. But I felt when he came for the second over where he went for runs, I don't think he was completely out of it. So after that we had one more conversation. I won't say what I said but definitely it worked."

Like Bumrah, Hardik Pandya's international career is in its infancy with both players having made their international debuts in January. However, Dhoni was pleased with the way Pandya responded after conceding boundaries from two of the first three deliveries in the final over, which left India with no margin for error needing to defend two runs off the final three balls with four Bangladesh wickets in hand.

"Somebody like Hardik or Bumrah, this was a first proper interaction with pressure and what pressure can really do. So I feel they must have learned a lot out of this game and these are the games that really make you better players because it pushes you to think in a different way."
MS Dhoni

Dhoni further elaborated on the sequence afterwards saying that he came to choose Pandya to bowl the final over by going to his specialist bowlers first, including Bumrah and Ashish Nehra, in the three overs prior as a means of stretching out the game as long as possible before seeing what the final-over equation would be.

"The batsmen were scoring quite freely at that point of time," Dhoni said. "I knew I had to take that one over from somebody whether it was a spinner or Hardik Pandya. I said what is important right now is to make a game out of it and that's where I said I'll use the proper bowlers at this point of time and we'll see how many runs are needed in the last over. Then according to that we'll decide who is the person who can bowl.

"There were quite a few options. There was Yuvraj Singh, Suresh Raina, Hardik Pandya was there. That was the reason behind it. Often it's quite an easy one. You want to give a cushion of an extra few runs and you go back to your main bowlers, you back their strength and say whatever runs you save it all keeps mounting on the last over and if he's able to execute his plans then we'll be on the winning side."

More than anything, Dhoni was proud of the way the team was able to still win on a day where multiple players had rocky outings. The resiliency on display for younger players like Bumrah to compose themselves and manage to do enough to win is something that Dhoni says is a valuable learning experience they can take with them through the rest of the tournament and beyond in their careers.

"It was still a very good effort by the team. I felt majority members of the team had a tough day. Ash had a very good day when it comes to bowling but still there were patches where he went for runs where he thought maybe the batsman played a very good shot. All the bowlers went for runs but they came back and everybody contributed. So I feel it's a very good game for us, especially for youngsters who have not played under a lot of pressure.

"Somebody like Hardik or Bumrah, this was a first proper interaction with pressure and what pressure can really do. So I feel they must have learned a lot out of this game and these are the games that really make you better players because it pushes you to think in a different way, pushes you to have that confidence in your strength at the time when it's really needed. So I think it was a very good game for us."

The media conference began with Dhoni castigating a journalist for asking the following question in Hindi: "From talking about winning by a large margin to increase the net run rate, and to win by around 50 runs from being close to losing this game and winning narrowly. How satisfied are you with this win?"

As the reporter began his second query, Dhoni said, "One question at a time... Because I know you are not happy that India has won." As the reporter sought to clarify, Dhoni went said, "No listen. From your voice, your tone and you question, I feel you are not happy that India has won. Okay? And when it comes to a cricket match, it doesn't have a script.

"It is not about the script. You need to analyse that after losing the toss the kind of wicket we had to bat on, what was the reason we couldnt make a lot more runs. If while sitting on the outside, you are not analysing all these thing, then you shouldn't ask these questions."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  •   Slp Srinivas on March 25, 2016, 21:52 GMT

    I think Dhoni should admit they India did not play to their potential or did not gave 100% performance instead of saying news reporters do not want india to win.

    Every on says indian team is great under dhoni captaincy, but its fluke and luck. Even winning world cup in 2011 india never dominated like australia.

  • BigINDFan on March 25, 2016, 19:55 GMT

    Dhoni needs to be fired as a captain. This win was a fluke not clever captaincy. His team selection, field placements and choice of bowlers are ridiculous. Bumrah should not have bowled early on when he under pressure. Pandya was terrible choice for last over. BD lost their mind but other teams will not.

  • DriftTurnAndBounce on March 25, 2016, 8:09 GMT

    JNT222: "Ridiculous to say India were so amazingly calm under pressure. They were ok and didn't muck it up." Yup it's ridiculous what every knowledgeable cricket expert is saying/has said but your opinion is absolutely right on money and we shouldn't question it at all.

  • R.A.B on March 25, 2016, 6:53 GMT

    Dhoni continues his wierd choices of playing out of form players like dhawan. He should have some definite reason otherwise this may come to haunt him.

  • Maddy4545 on March 24, 2016, 20:34 GMT

    Don't understand why the captain haven't utilised Yuvraj as a bowling option

  • Vishwaulthur on March 24, 2016, 20:11 GMT

    Well done team India. real test is against Aussies. Batting needs to improve against Aussies. All the best.

  • FrostD on March 24, 2016, 19:21 GMT

    Being on the field and playing the game is very different from watching the game on TV. But just by being a spectator, I thought there were enough mistakes in Dhoni's captaincy, with the exception of the last ball. But all that mattered to win this match was the last ball, so I would say in the big scheme of things, Dhoni was accurate. I thought Dhoni's captaincy against Pakistan was also fairly off, but India won that game fairly without a contest, so Dhoni was accurate with that one as well. I'm just hoping that all the inaccuracies that I feel just by watching the games on TV will start to disappear or I hope to get a chance in the Indian cricket team to convince myself that Dhoni is in fact accurate and that I just got it all wrong all along.

  • HDG1978 on March 24, 2016, 18:20 GMT

    Dhoni did right by using Bumrah in the 17th and 19th over as despite a poor match,Bumrah is accurate at the death and is the 1st Indian speedster, who bowls yorkers with accuracy.A wayward Pandya might have conceded 10-12 runs leaving Bumrah almost nothing to defend in the last over.6 runs in the 19th over left Bangladesh with a substantial 11 to get in the final over and Pandya nearly conceded those,but for the harakiri committed by Rahim and Mahmudullah. Looking forward to a Pakistan win as that would deal a further blow to Australia's confidence after they somehow just managed to put it across Bangladesh.However,conditions in Mohali and Nagpur will be vastly different from what OZ faced in Bangalore. Hope the pitch India plays OZ in Nagpur on Sunday offers help to the spinners as that would make Ashwin and Jadeja all the more potent.Would love to see Bhajji/Negi play in place of Pandya as India badly needs the extra spinner with Nehra/Bumrah doing well in the pace department.

  • OracleMagus on March 24, 2016, 17:16 GMT

    Well played MSD and team India. Tough Luck BD boys. By now you must have realized that the actual celebration should start only after you cross the finish line. One of the finest matches in the recent times and the better team won. There is no point in blaming players or circumstances, finally what count is the win. Winners make their own Luck and Losers makes excuses. All the best team India, the biggest hurdle is just around the corner. Hope to see a better batting and fielding performance against the Aussies. Cheers!

  • iNsiDers on March 24, 2016, 16:34 GMT

    What a great comment by Barfi .... i totally agree with you. Had india lost the game, everybody would blame him for giving last over to Pandya and every one will blame Bumrah for the drop catch but now they are the heroes

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