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Pakistan expolited the conditions well: Dhoni

Jaipur, Nov 19 (UNI) Indian skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni says the reason for Pakistan's victory over the hosts in the final ODI here was that the visitors exploited the conditions and their bowlers bowled well.

''Also we lost too many wickets by the 15th over and that made the task to chase 307 for a win very difficult,'' Dhoni told newspersons here last night after his team lost the fifth ODI by 31 runs.

''When the opposition scores more than 300, you need to maintain the run rate for a successful chase. Otherwise, it keeps mounting and creates pressure,'' the skipper said.

He was candid enough to admit that Pakistan were the better side in the match and ''they played well in all departments''.

''The initial wickets they took hampered our chase. From then on, we were always trying to catch up and it became difficult,'' he added.

''They (Pakistan bowlers) bowled well in the dead and also fielded better. We did well in patches,'' Dhoni said.

The skipper, who won his first ODI series as captain, lavished praise on his team-mates, saying the series win was due to team efforts.

''We played well. We were good in batting and bowling.

We did not field well and there is scope of improvement there. We are working on that and hopefully we will be an improved side.'' He also lauded his deputy Yuvraj Singh, who was declared man-of-the-series, saying, ''He is taking up a lot of responsibility and that augurs well for the team.

He is batting with responsibility and that is good for the team. He is proving a point.'' Dhoni hailed Sachin Tendulkar, saying that the master blaster has aggressive batting, played a major role in the series win.

''Sachin has been doing that for more than 15 years.

There is nothing to be said about him. He is playing aggressively,'' he said.

About his ankle injury, Dhoni said, ''It is OK now, there is not much pain and there is no swelling and I hope it will be OK by the time the Test series start.'' He asserted that Sourav Ganguly was rested for the final ODI and ''nothing much should be read into it''.

Dhoni also said that Virender Sehwag's form was not a cause of concern and ''every player goes this sort of a phase''.

About going into the match with four bowlers, Dhoni said, ''Well, we have won when we played with four bowlers and we have lost matches when we had five bowlers.'' He described the performance of youngsters as encouraging and singled out Rohit Sharma for scoring 52 in difficult conditions.


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Story first published: Monday, November 19, 2007, 16:26 [IST]
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