India v England 1st Twenty20, Pune December 20, 2012

Dhoni delighted with fielding effort

ESPNcricinfo staff

MS Dhoni praised the efforts of his team in the field after India comfortably won the opening Twenty20 in Pune by five wickets. England began well with the bat, through Alex Hales and Luke Wright, before Yuvraj Singh took three wickets to knock the stuffing out of the innings.

India's fielding, which was often shoddy during the Test series, also improved considerably with Ajinkya Rahane claiming three out-field catches and Virat Kohli taking a superb, low, effort at long-on. With Suresh Raina also back in the team there was a far more athletic appearance to India and Dhoni did not have to shield so many slower movers.

The turning point of the match came in the 13th over when Yuvraj, who had already removed Wright, bowled Hales for 56 off 35 balls and two deliveries later had Eoin Morgan, the England captain and leading Twenty20 batsman, caught at long-on. Yuvraj later added 38 off 21 balls which included picking off Danny Briggs' only over for 18.

"Yuvraj was brilliant. He bowled really well and at the right pace," Dhoni said. "I felt each and every bowler, apart from Yuvraj, bowled at least one bad over in the game. But I'm overall very happy with the performance."

"And the fielding, which I wanted the team to do well. I thought we did brilliantly.

"The pressure was on the bowlers," he added. "The way Hales started - he went after the bowlers - that was the difficult part. We all know it's a bit easier to score against the new ball on the sub-continent, particularly in India. It was important from the eighth over that we tried to bring the team back into the game."

Morgan was left frustrated by the way England's batted faded from the position of 89 for 1 in the 11th over. They were also below their best with the ball where they conceded 10 wides after Jade Dernbach set the tone with three in his first over.

"We got off to a great start. Alex Hales played tremendously well along with Luke Wright but in that middle period we failed to kick on and score. That positivity wasn't there in our batting and we lacked about 15 or 20.

"We never seemed to get going again. We continually lost wickets, which is a shame because because the start we had, we were on for a good score. We always thought we were in the game. We lacked a small bit of discipline in our bowling but we were always up against it with that score on the board."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Srinivas on December 23, 2012, 1:24 GMT

    @Harmony111, I'm afraid, you are misquoting me here. I said our cricketers like shorter formats more than the longer format. I never said our cricketers (Indians) don't like Tests. So, please understand that you are talking to me based on what I never said. It is my wish, as a purist, that our selectors give me and people like me one last chance before we can sadly move on from Indian Test Cricket. This can be done by selecting players that have passion for the format in question. Imagine, you want to become a Doctor and your parents force you to become a Chartered Accountant. It won't help anybody, neither you, your parents nor your clients. That's the samething, I'm afraid, that's happening now. I may be wrong, but I have a strong feeling that there are many dead-weights in our test team who seem more interested in shorter formats. There's nothing wrong in liking one format more over the other. Coming to Dravid and Statchin - let's hold that debate for some other day. Cheers mate!

  • Harmon on December 22, 2012, 10:32 GMT

    @Dravid_Gravitas: Why do you even think Indians don't like Tests? We are so many that even the various disjointed sets of Test + ODI + T20 fans will be much more than the total fans in other countries. The other fans will try to push us down cos that's all they can do. Why do you expect others to relish in our successes. What has India not achieved in the last 5-6 years in Cricket? Tell me. We have won the WT20, the ODI WC, #1 Rank in ODIs, #1 Rank in Tests, we have even won the CLT20 (home and away though it is not a nation's cup). Yes, we have lost too but that is natural. We are bound to win some and lose some. We've not done well in the last 18 months but then Eng had done hardly anything in the last 20 years. They were perennial Ashes losers and would routinely lose to almost anyone. Our Natwest win in 2002 in their home is 1 of the greatest comeback of the game. Why pull our team down then?

    As for Sachin, why do you call him Statchin? What are your proper reasons?

  • Vikram on December 22, 2012, 4:27 GMT

    @ Sanjiyan. I am not very sure about that. In my opinion, Gary Kirsten is also a reason for the recent poor test performances since the departure of Dravid and Laxman. He did not plan for their succession, and shrewdly left at a high, instead of giving in to emotion. I am still keenly following what he does for SA wrt succession of Kallis.

  • Srinivas on December 22, 2012, 4:26 GMT

    @Harmony111, I must admit that I love your posts. But I'm afraid, you misunderstood me about T20s. Anybody who read my posts know that I'm probably the most ardent supporter of T20s and IPL in particular. I even laid out very clearly in several of my posts over the last couple of days that our team members seem to be more interested in shorter formats and so we need to respect their liking since it is their life choice and profession. As a purist, I request the selectors to give fans like me one last chance to follow Indian Test Cricket before I can move on. For that, they shouldn't select players who have their passion in shorter formats. I'm not forcing cricketers that they should like Test Cricket more. Regarding your question about Dravid and Statchin, a cerebral poster like you shouldn't arrive at such loose conclusions about Dravid and Statchin. So my answer is - No.

  • Jay on December 21, 2012, 18:19 GMT

    Dhoni, Yuvraj and other 20/20 'stars' should be delighted. This peformance along with any similar ones in the remaining 20/20 will guarantee that their IPL revenues for 2013 will be either intact or increased. As a human nature, performance will peak only with promise of greater incentives. IPL, with its many defects, is a great source for Indian cricketers to achieve some financial freedom. It will be foolish to expect the current Indian team to put similar spirited performance during a test series and try to win them. They very well know that they cannot become millionaires by playing test cricket!

  • Nadeem on December 21, 2012, 17:51 GMT

    it's all IPL effect. india should only be allowed to play T2020 any more. no test and odi cricket for them because they are boring.

  • Harmon on December 21, 2012, 16:15 GMT

    Dravid_Gravitas_Statchin_Selfishkar, luvcricket_new_gen, Rahulbose: You are among those who say the glass is half empty instead of being half full. If you guys do not like T20s cos they are the shorter format and don't test the players in full then why are you here commenting at all? Why can't you look somewhere else when T20s are played? And Dravid_Gravitas: Have you gone through some accident or what? You used to be a lot better and made much more sense than your recent comments. Btw, if Sachin is Statchin cos he scores run for himself and doesn't help India win matches then isn't Rahul Dravid selfish too cos he scored 3 100s for himself vs Eng in 2011 and yet India lost 0-4?

  • Dummy4 on December 21, 2012, 14:43 GMT

    I feel the most funny part is to see how people comment on the website as if they are expert and played so many international Matches. Till the time they criticising a player or team is fine as they are audience and pay to watch but it becomes funny when they rectify error, or give tips.

  • Abdul on December 21, 2012, 11:14 GMT

    India are strong in T20 & ODI's, but are struggling in Tests due to their transitional phase. it's not surprising that they have lost at home....They need to re-group. plan for more Tests. Select players on merit from Domestic Pool & come back strong on International Arena. To compete against Australia, England or West Indies at their home turf, they need to blood new talent & play more away Tests to accustom to foreign conditions. This is the way out, if they want to capture glory in Tests...All the Best Team India.

  • Walter on December 21, 2012, 9:33 GMT

    @fasttrack10 you mean rise to the top of the T20 rankings? Any other format asks too much effort and concentration for this Indian team. I think its apalling that noone of the indian team admits whats really wrong. I'm sure Gary Kirsten is dissapointed at what has been done with all his hard work..

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