Delhi v Pakistan XI, warm-up match, Delhi November 2, 2007

Dahiya upbeat despite defeat

Cricinfo staff

Vijay Dahiya, the Delhi coach, was happy with the runs Shikhar Dhawan scored against Pakistan's pace attack © AFP

Vijay Dahiya, the Delhi coach, is happy with his side's start to the season despite the seven-wicket defeat against Pakistan XI. "I'm not too unhappy with the way we fought against a side of Pakistan's calibre," Dahiya told PTI. "It was the perfect start to our season and I'm not complaining."

Delhi collapsed to 46 for 4 before Rajat Bhatia and Shikhar Dhawan added 81 for the fourth wicket. "I'm happy that both Shikhar and Rajat got some runs under their belt. To manage half-centuries against an attack that boasts of Shoaib Akhtar and Umar Gul would do a world of good to their confidence. Besides, I'm happy with the way we fought and managed to overcome early crises." He said that though the batsmen had been cagey before playing Shoaib Akhtar, none of them were afraid of facing him. "When Shikhar hit Shoaib for a six, the entire team was jumping in joy."

Dahiya defended his fast bowlers, Kunal Lal and Pradeep Sangwan, who went for 66 in the first six overs. "It's easy to blame them but the fact is this Pakistan batting line-up, especially Imran Nazir and Salman Butt, have gone after every attack and there was no exception today," Dahiya said. In all, Lal conceded over eight an over and Sangwan over six.

Dahiya was also happy with the team's fielding. "Comparing it with our match against Railways, I think we have progressed a lot from there."

Looking at the season ahead, Dahiya said his aim was to turn the Delhi players into a winning combination. "Over the last six-seven years, Delhi has produced 10-11 players who have gone on to play for the national side but somehow, we did not do well as a team. I want to change that."

Delhi's first Ranji Trophy match starts on Sunday against Rajasthan at Feroz Shah Kotla.