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Dhoni backs decision to rest seniors

February 8, 2009, 7:53 PM IST
Dhoni backs decision to rest seniors

Colombo: Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni blamed lack of bowling resources for their defeat to Sri Lanka in the fifth and final one-dayer, which halted their stupendous nine-match winning run on Sunday.

India had rested their key players such as pacer Zaheer Khan, spinner Pragyan Ojha and batting maestro Sachin Tendulkar but Dhoni said it was crucial to try out youngsters with the series already in their pocket.

"Our bowling was not strong. But it was good to have a go at the guys who had not played. (Ravinder) Jadeja got a chance to see what international cricket is all about and how tough it can be sometimes," Dhoni said after 68-run loss which prevented them from making a clean-sweep of the series.

"Overall it was good, though we lost (today), we won the series," he added.

The Indian captain dedicated the series win to his team-mates who, he says, back each other and enjoy each other's success.

"The overall team morale is good. It's important to have good dressing room atmosphere and guys back each other and enjoy each other's success.

"Whenever I needed them they were there, whether I needed a batsman or a bowler (to perform). So I dedicate this win to my team-mates. Hopefully, we will continue to win more tournaments," Dhoni said.

Sri Lankan skipper Mahela Jayawardene praised his top-order batsmen for laying the platform for consolation win.

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"We had spoken to the guys. We were disappointed after four defeats. I think the wicket played a big role... Sanath (Jayasuriya) and Tillekaratne (Dilshan) gave us a good platform to push for 300 and once we reached there we had advantage.

"Though Indians have a very good batting line-up we managed to pick wickets. They are one of the best sides, they played really well and were deserved (series) winners".

The Sri Lankan skipper said his team-mates were determined to win on Sunday in the view of their upcoming Pakistan Test tour.

"Everyone realised and put heart and soul into it. We had not come here to lose but we were up against a very good side. We came back and won that showed the character and that is what is required of the guys.

"Now we are looking forward to the Pakistan tour, hopefully we will do well there," he said.

Yuvraj Singh, adjudged man-of-the-series for scoring 284 run in the five-match series, credited his good show to the tips he got from Tendulkar.

"This (award) is second in a row. But I had a bad series last time here. There was little doubt about playing the spinners. A big thanks to Sachin and the coaching staff, who helped me out I played to my strength," he said.

Team Rankings

Rank Team Points Rating
1 India 3631 113
2 New Zealand 2547 111
3 South Africa 2917 108
4 England 3778 105
5 Australia 2640 98
see more
Rank Team Points Rating
1 England 6745 125
2 India 7071 122
3 New Zealand 4837 112
4 Australia 5543 111
5 South Africa 5193 110
see more
Rank Team Points Rating
1 Pakistan 7365 283
2 England 4253 266
3 South Africa 4196 262
4 India 8099 261
5 Australia 5471 261
see more
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