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

We adapted better - Dhoni

ESPNcricinfo staff
36

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."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • EnglishCricket 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 :)

  • ovzdatta151 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.

  • Naresh28 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.

  • ovzdatta151 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.

  • Philippe on August 9, 2012, 8:42 GMT

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

  • 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....

  • AvidCricFan 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.

  • Naresh28 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.

  • 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.

  • MunafAhmed811 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.

  • EnglishCricket 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 :)

  • ovzdatta151 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.

  • Naresh28 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.

  • ovzdatta151 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.

  • Philippe on August 9, 2012, 8:42 GMT

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

  • 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....

  • AvidCricFan 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.

  • Naresh28 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.

  • 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.

  • MunafAhmed811 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.

  • MunafAhmed811 on August 8, 2012, 16:56 GMT

    My best 11 posted on other article as well. Team for T20 Worldcup : Sehwag (Hitter/Bowl 2 overs min) , Gambhir (Accumulator who can accelerate), Kohli (Awesome Accumulator who can accelerate/ Bowl 2 overs), Tiwary(Accumulator who can accelerate/ Bowl 2 overs), Raina(Hitter/Bowl 2 overs min), Dhoni (Hitter), I Pathan (Bowl 3-4 overs depnding on form of day/ Reliable bat), Y Pathan(Hitter/Bowl 2 overs min), Bhajji (Bowl 3-4 containing overs depnding on form of day/ big hitter), Yadav (Bowl 3 overs at max speed he can bowl) , Dinda ( Variations 3-4 over bowler)

    Enough partimers and surprise factors as to who will bowl when and enough bowling to cover up another bowler having bad day.Will confuse opposition.Awesome batting power upto Bhajii. With this batting 200+ scores possible and batting is our strength. Batting linup can un nerve best of bowling attacks. Taking Bhaji purely for his hitting and containment only for this tournament.Jadeja,Rayudu,PK,Rahane as backups

  • Divinetouch on August 8, 2012, 16:43 GMT

    Jason Spray

    Time for me to lol. Please review the results below and let me know where those places are:

    Hobart - Feb 28, 2012 Adelaide - Feb 12, 2012 Melbourne - Feb 3, 2012 Kingston - Jun 20-23, 2011 Port of Spain - Jun 6, 2011 North Sound - Jun 11, 2011

    My geography knowledge tells me none are in Asia.

  • ovzdatta151 on August 8, 2012, 14:36 GMT

    @premendrasinghal : Well, he was an opener in 2007 WC 20-20 Final against Pakistan.

  • on August 8, 2012, 13:39 GMT

    Dinda is a good bowler, He may not get a chance to play all the matches for india but he is a good choice when other fast bowler are not doing well. My best 11 at this moment to play 20-20 world cup are 1)Virendra shewag 2) Rohit sharma 3) Virat kohli 4)suresh raina 5)manoj tiwary 6) Dhoni 7) Ravindra jadeja 8)Irphan pathan 9)Ashwin 10)Zaheer khan 11)Dinda

  • on August 8, 2012, 12:37 GMT

    @shaantanu : I agree with you mate. Why do we have such a rivalry? for what? Both are great teams,but India is slightly ahead of us.We know that,and that's not a shame at all.I think this hatred all began after that no-ball.any idea?

  • S.N.Singh on August 8, 2012, 12:28 GMT

    CREDIT SHOULD GO TO DINDA. HE IS THE FASTES OF THE INDIAN BOWLERS AND IS DEVOLOPING TO BE A WORLD TREAT IN BE COMING THE FASTEST BOWLER OF TODAY. INDIA SHOULD PUT HIM, DINDA UNDER SPECIAL TRANING, GETTING KAPEL DEV TO BE HIS TRAINER ( FORGET THE INDEFFERENCES OF THE BCCI ) I THINK HE WILL BE A SPECIAL FOR INDIA. OVERALL I VERY HAPPY WITH PATTHAN PERFORMANCES. HE MUST BE THERE FOR THE BIGGER OCCATIONS. I KNOW HE CAN DO IT. THE WHOLE TEAM PLAYED WELL FOR THIS SERIES. HOPE THEY KEEP IT UP. KHOLI AND RAINA PLAYED THE WAY 20 OVERS SHOULD BE. " LASH THE BALL OUTSIDE THE FIEL AREA. THAT IS WHAT 20 OVER IS FOR. S N SINGH USA

  • premendrasinghal on August 8, 2012, 12:09 GMT

    @ ovzdatta151 how funny? Yousuf.. Opener? who wont last more than a over on swinging balls. There should a batsman with good hand eye coordination. Only Sehvag is enough at that position the other should be more sound in Technic...

  • ovzdatta151 on August 8, 2012, 9:41 GMT

    Even though India won comfortably but still the bowling holds the weakest link in the current Indian team. I would prefer Yusuf Pathan in the team. My choice of First XI would be for 20-20 WC

    1) Y Pathan (Opener) 2) V Sehwag (Opener) 3) G Gambhir 4) V Kohli 5) Y Singh (If he is fit) or M Tiwary 6) S Raina 7) M S Dhoni 8) I Pathan 9) R Ashwin 10) Z Khan 11) P Kumar or V Kumar (They both can swing the bowl)..

  • zimmby on August 8, 2012, 9:22 GMT

    Just out of curiosity, can anyone tell me when the pitches were relaid and how many matches SL played on them since then? How many matches does one need to get 'adapted' to the pitches? Credit goes to the two most valuable players from India - Virat Kohli and Irfan Pathan for the successful tour.

  • shaantanu on August 8, 2012, 8:42 GMT

    @Dannymania:Wow buddy thanks for the nice words....I guess Indians and Pakistanis have more respect for each other than say a SriLankan have for the Indian team or vise versa.

  • Porky_PigTheToon on August 8, 2012, 7:54 GMT

    @Dannymania: that's so unlike Pakistani fan. Thanks, though. We Indians admire Pak's bowling attack. Saeed Ajmal is my favorite bowler right now.

  • joseyesu on August 8, 2012, 6:32 GMT

    Is team India's performance due to the new bowling coach..? Surprised with India able to defend 150+ with this new bowling dpt.

  • veerakannadiga on August 8, 2012, 6:09 GMT

    Well played India. MSD spoke the key words "adaptability". We need to do same when we tour abroad.The problem is we do not "adapt" on foreign soils.

  • Fast_Track_Bully on August 8, 2012, 4:10 GMT

    @Jason Spray. And your team Eng got 5-0 thrashings in the last ODI series in India and your Test team not able to protect your lucky no:1 status in your home series against SA either!. So it is clear that all teams including ENG will do better in home conditions.But in your case, SA has a similar home conditions and hence your team unable to stand against them!!what a shame for NO:1 test team! ha ha ha

  • satish619chandar on August 8, 2012, 3:59 GMT

    Though he picked last three wickets, Dinda as usual gives his all even while bowling rubbish.. All the guys need is a good bowling coach.. I still believe the bowling unit worked far better under Prasad than any other bowling coach who followed him.. Irfan was very good in this series.. A little bit improvement in pace and more consistent swing will get back the old Irfan we know.. A very welcome change especially considering how bad the bowling was in recent times.. Likes of Umesh need to improve notch..

  • Sakthiivel on August 8, 2012, 3:00 GMT

    @ Dannymania : Thanks bro.. That's really nice of u...

  • on August 8, 2012, 2:44 GMT

    @Jason Spray...Win is a win anywhere..Like to see more wins in Asia coz they're more comprehensive, waiting to see more of them November 2012..

  • Indus_vvsfan on August 8, 2012, 0:39 GMT

    @Dannymania,

    Thanks for the kind words.

    I really like Pakistani bowling, starting from Waqar, Wasim, Shoaib, Saqlain, W.Raiz, Sami etc..., most of your second rated bowlers are better than most of our first rated bowlers. :o) no offense to any Ind bowlers. Also liked M.Yousuf (Youhanna) a lot....sad to see him quit a little early.

    I always dream of one country (Ind+Pak) and dream of this imaginary country's cricket team....just imagine IndPak team, they would for sure win all the cups all over the world. Hope it becomes true on day. :o)

    As a matter of fact, I play in a cricket league in USA, and our team is predominantly from Pakistan, and I'm one of 3-4 Indians...I must say it is a real pleasure to play cricket here.

  • jango_moh on August 8, 2012, 0:15 GMT

    @jason spray.... im guessing ur English, ENG has been impressing me lately NOT, win a series in ENG , nevermind outside ENG.... if ur an aussie, never mind!!!! lol

  • bigdhonifan on August 7, 2012, 23:16 GMT

    Leave Virat. I am happy for the most honest guy in Indian Team- Irfan Pathan

  • bigdhonifan on August 7, 2012, 23:15 GMT

    @Dannymania An year before Sunny Gavaskar asked to Ramiz Raja. " Ramiz, Is there any 22 Year old player better than Virat". Ramiz replied " Sunny , I would say, after 3 Years there wont be a better player in any age group than him a"

  • ultrasnow on August 7, 2012, 22:35 GMT

    @Dannymania - It takes a big heart to say nice words about your arch rivals. All Indian and Pakistani fans should learn from you. Thanks bro.

  • on August 7, 2012, 22:02 GMT

    India have been impressing me lately lol NOT win a game outside Asia.

  • lovepork on August 7, 2012, 22:00 GMT

    Wel done India! the more I see of Virat the more I am getting impressed, have not seen any batsman dominate the bowlers since sir Viv. Irfan, Dinda you bowled heart out, good to see them, in all it is great to see India back where they belongs, wiining in all formats! sorry Lankans you are no match to India!

  • Dannymania on August 7, 2012, 21:34 GMT

    india is growing into a unit which can be the hardest to be defeated.This compliment from a pakistani means a lot.My favorite player when i was a child was Ijaz Ahmed,then Saqlain Mushtaq,then it was Micheal Hussey for a long long time,but that changed a year ago.I saw a batsman so terrifically well groomed and technically perfect that i couldn't resist but making him my favorite player.Virat Kohli became my favorite player in the world a year ago and well,he has done exceptionally well in the past year.I'm rooting for the indian team now,i think they can lift any trophy that comes their way with this batting line up.their fast bowling is fine too.I have a problem with their spin attack though.but hey,its india,they'll ultimately produce atleast one great spinner too.

  • MunafAhmed811 on August 7, 2012, 20:54 GMT

    Dinda is under estimated in T20s and ODI. He is not a test match bowler for sure. But like Chris harris of NZ he can be handful at times

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  • MunafAhmed811 on August 7, 2012, 20:54 GMT

    Dinda is under estimated in T20s and ODI. He is not a test match bowler for sure. But like Chris harris of NZ he can be handful at times

  • Dannymania on August 7, 2012, 21:34 GMT

    india is growing into a unit which can be the hardest to be defeated.This compliment from a pakistani means a lot.My favorite player when i was a child was Ijaz Ahmed,then Saqlain Mushtaq,then it was Micheal Hussey for a long long time,but that changed a year ago.I saw a batsman so terrifically well groomed and technically perfect that i couldn't resist but making him my favorite player.Virat Kohli became my favorite player in the world a year ago and well,he has done exceptionally well in the past year.I'm rooting for the indian team now,i think they can lift any trophy that comes their way with this batting line up.their fast bowling is fine too.I have a problem with their spin attack though.but hey,its india,they'll ultimately produce atleast one great spinner too.

  • lovepork on August 7, 2012, 22:00 GMT

    Wel done India! the more I see of Virat the more I am getting impressed, have not seen any batsman dominate the bowlers since sir Viv. Irfan, Dinda you bowled heart out, good to see them, in all it is great to see India back where they belongs, wiining in all formats! sorry Lankans you are no match to India!

  • on August 7, 2012, 22:02 GMT

    India have been impressing me lately lol NOT win a game outside Asia.

  • ultrasnow on August 7, 2012, 22:35 GMT

    @Dannymania - It takes a big heart to say nice words about your arch rivals. All Indian and Pakistani fans should learn from you. Thanks bro.

  • bigdhonifan on August 7, 2012, 23:15 GMT

    @Dannymania An year before Sunny Gavaskar asked to Ramiz Raja. " Ramiz, Is there any 22 Year old player better than Virat". Ramiz replied " Sunny , I would say, after 3 Years there wont be a better player in any age group than him a"

  • bigdhonifan on August 7, 2012, 23:16 GMT

    Leave Virat. I am happy for the most honest guy in Indian Team- Irfan Pathan

  • jango_moh on August 8, 2012, 0:15 GMT

    @jason spray.... im guessing ur English, ENG has been impressing me lately NOT, win a series in ENG , nevermind outside ENG.... if ur an aussie, never mind!!!! lol

  • Indus_vvsfan on August 8, 2012, 0:39 GMT

    @Dannymania,

    Thanks for the kind words.

    I really like Pakistani bowling, starting from Waqar, Wasim, Shoaib, Saqlain, W.Raiz, Sami etc..., most of your second rated bowlers are better than most of our first rated bowlers. :o) no offense to any Ind bowlers. Also liked M.Yousuf (Youhanna) a lot....sad to see him quit a little early.

    I always dream of one country (Ind+Pak) and dream of this imaginary country's cricket team....just imagine IndPak team, they would for sure win all the cups all over the world. Hope it becomes true on day. :o)

    As a matter of fact, I play in a cricket league in USA, and our team is predominantly from Pakistan, and I'm one of 3-4 Indians...I must say it is a real pleasure to play cricket here.

  • on August 8, 2012, 2:44 GMT

    @Jason Spray...Win is a win anywhere..Like to see more wins in Asia coz they're more comprehensive, waiting to see more of them November 2012..