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July 6, 2009
India clinched their fifth straight ODI series when rain forced the abandonment of the final match against West Indies in St Lucia, and the captain MS Dhoni believes it is tribute to his core unit.
"I think we really have a very good side," said Dhoni after India won the series 2-1. "It's a pleasure to win series out of the country. The bowlers took the initiative, we have a very good bowling attack and the youngsters who came in and got a chance have proved himself."
Dhoni's pace spearhead in the absence of Zaheer Khan, the young Ishant Sharma, struggled during the series - he took a pasting from Chris Gayle in the third ODI - but bounced back well to get Gayle for a second-ball duck in the final game. Dhoni credited a disciplined approach as key to Ishant's rejuvenated spell in the washed-out affair.
"He [Ishant] was concentrating more on what he needs to do rather than looking at the batsman. Today he was bowling in the right areas and there was a bit help in the pitch for the fast bowlers," said Dhoni. "In the earlier matches he was bowling one change but today he looked a totally different bowler with the new ball. Throughout the series if you see we batted first because there was something on offer for the fast bowlers."
Second to Dhoni's series-topping 182 runs was his deputy, Yuvraj Singh, with 168 including the sole century of the truncated series. Yuvraj, said, Dhoni was the backbone of India's batting order. "Coming in at No. 4 he always takes up the responsibility and sets up the platform for the batsmen down the order to contribute. When he sets himself up, you can rest assure he is in for a big score."
Gayle rued the fact West Indies did not have a chance to square the series. "You can't really do anything in such weather conditions," he said. "We are looking forward to Bangladesh right now. We need to go back to the drawing board ahead of that series. [Runako] Morton's return to form and Darren Bravo's introduction to international cricket were the positives that have come out of the series."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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