Sri Lanka v India, only T20, Pallekele August 7, 2012

We adapted better - Dhoni

ESPNcricinfo staff

MS Dhoni, the India captain, has said India have adapted to the change in nature of Sri Lankan pitches better than the hosts on this tour. India won the ODI series 4-1 and beat Sri Lanka comfortably in the only T20 game in Pallekele.

"The wickets have changed here," Dhoni said at the post-match presentation ceremony. "When I first came here the ball used to stop a lot. But now the pitches have been relaid. I think we mastered our bowling and batting better than them."

India made 155 after being put in and while Dhoni admitted that was at least 15 runs short, the swinging ball, he said, ensured that going hard at the ball was not all that easy. "Overall we were really good. The ball was swinging till the 20th over so not easy to slog," Dhoni said.

Irfan Pathan, who was named Man of the Match, took advantage of the swing and picked up three wickets in Sri Lanka's chase, removing three senior batsmen - Tillakaratne Dilshan, Upul Tharanga and Mahela Jayawardene. "Mahela was going great guns. The ball was swinging and we knew that if we got wickets, it would be difficult for the Sri Lankan batsmen," Irfan said. "Our bowling coach [Joe Dawes] has been keeping a good eye on us."

Ashok Dinda was also among the wickets, taking 4 for 19 - the second-best figures in a T20 international by an Indian bowler - and three of them in one over, including the tail. "The kind of wicket this was, any amount of runs could have been chased so we had that tension too [while defending the total] but in the end we bowled well, fielded well and we won," Dinda said. "We have been playing a lot of cricket in domestic matches and IPL."

Among Dinda's strengths is the short ball. "No batsman thinks that the ball will come into the body at this height at 140 kph so in that sense the short ball is a surprise. If the batsman tries to hit, it can go for a six or a four also but at the same time the chances of getting a wicket are also high. Whenever I have bowled a short ball the fielder is at the back at fine leg or square leg."

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  • Joe on August 10, 2012, 17:03 GMT

    Sri Lanka were unfortunate because before this series, they played a full series with Pakistan whereas India had a good break therefore it was clearly a big fluke but really feel for Sri Lanka for playing non-stop Cricket. India has no chance for World T20 final let alone winning it :)

  • ABHIJIT on August 9, 2012, 20:21 GMT

    Going through the comments of all the people, I have found all of us have a concern for the Indian Cricket Team. And we don't want Indian Cricket to go down hill as like our Indian Hockey Team. I feel ESPN team should do something to promote or rather revive Indian Hockey so that we all sports enthusiast meet in some common platform and discuss how to make Indian Hockey Team as popular as our Indian Cricket Team.

  • Naresh on August 9, 2012, 11:36 GMT

    @Sunil - wicket taking bowlers especially pace bowlers are rare to come from India. Zaheer is now on the downhill. He has led the pace department almost on his own. Wickets win you matches - batsman will continue to be unearthed in India. Right now we dont have a capable bowler to take over from Zaks and I feel the spinner role has not been filled by Ashwin. My only wish is that BCCI does something about this. Yes we did become NO1 with Dhoni - but we could not keep it for long. And in fact the process to become No1 started with Ganguly side. Poor bowling in Eng and Oz made our players spend hours on the field - demoralising the batsman.

  • ABHIJIT on August 9, 2012, 8:57 GMT

    @Munafbhai : I totally agree with your team. Yusuf and Sehwag should open and Gambhir can come first down then with Kohli.. and then rest of the players. But I feel U Yadav is not so matured for 20-20 format. He tries to bowl fast with out any brains. Zaheer should lead the bowling attack. If Yuvi can make it into the team that would be great but he shouldn;t rush into the team. He is recovering from such a major ailment and will take time for him to be fully fit. I will prefer Vinay Kumar or Praveen Kumar over Dinda bcoz both of them can swing the ball both ways and in addition to that they can bat a bit esp Praveen Kumar.

  • PV on August 9, 2012, 8:42 GMT

    Indian team looked united but SL team looked fragmented.. also they are lacking quality players..

  • Dummy4 on August 9, 2012, 8:19 GMT

    Naresh28, You feel that after kumble stopped playing tests india did not think they could take 20 wickets in a test and lost the intensity. It will come as a surprise to you that dhoni led india to no. 1 in tests and we were at that spot for a decent time. And for your info. with dhoni as captain india won test after test before than 2 whitewashes. dhoni as a captain has led india to 17 test wins out of 37 tests he has captained. and kumble did not play under dhoni in a SINGLE test. YET we won test after test under dhoni by taking 20 wickets....

  • Anit on August 8, 2012, 23:30 GMT

    Hope Dhoni can make similar statement when the Team India plays outside the subcontinent. The current team may struggle against NZ when playing in NZ baring couple of players. We made Aussie bowlers look much better than what they are. We all saw how they performed in England in the recent series.

  • Naresh on August 8, 2012, 20:58 GMT

    INDIA are better odi team cause of the fact that in tests they do not feel that taking 20 wickets is possible. Once Kumble left they lost that intensiity. Thus it became obvious that their strength is in ODI ONLY. UNTIL THEY UNEARTH A PACE BOWLER and TWO GOOD SPINNERS they will never climb back to NO1 in tests.

  • Dummy4 on August 8, 2012, 18:45 GMT

    Well, first of all, Heartly thanks to @dannymania bro. you deserve a standing ovation, i salute you friend. being a arch-rival, u have said good words for us. thats really very nice of you. I am very concern about inidan bowling attack, yes we've got the likes of irfan pathan who is grooming better as a cricketer and adds to that he is taking the responsibility of being a strike-bowler. But we need someone who can lead out bowling attack from front like brett lee did for australia, dale steyn is doing for SA, Shane bond did of NZ, Malinga doing for SL and J.Anderson doing for poms. Someone who is fast, furious, accurate and can swith the white/red rock both ways. someone like U.Yadav or V.aroon should be groomed like that. To become a face of indian bowling.

  • Munaf on August 8, 2012, 17:12 GMT

    T20 Worldcup squad : Yusuf and Sehwag to open (calculated gamble opening pair) , Gambhir, Kohli ,Tiwary, Raina , Dhoni ,Irfan ,Bhaji , Yadav, Dinda. Reserves Jadeja, Rayudu, PK , Rahane. Yusuf and Sehwag as openers if they get going opposition looses match in first few overs. If they fail Gambhir, Kohli, Tiwary can stabilise or accelarte as needed in situation and in end Dhoni, Irfan Raina, Bhaji can create havoc hitting. Except Dhoni and gambhir all batters can bowl 8-10 overs between them and leave rest 12-10 to be bowled between dinda, yadav, irfan and bhaji.

    Opposition will be always guessing who is going to bowl. Will make their strategies confusing to themselves. Most other teams will try to bounce out yusuf and end up bowling free hit no balls subsequently. Throws their bowling plan haywire. Else will bowl full and Sehwag/Yusuf can hit full lengths all over park as we know.Bhajji can be used as pinch hitter when spinners bowl.

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