New Delhi:Architect of India's six-wicket triumph over Australia, Man of the Match Yuvraj Singh on Saturday paid rich tributes to Mahendra Singh Dhoni, saying the captain deserved the award for guiding the team to victory.
The record 148-run stand between Yuvraj (78) and Dhoni (71 not out) made all the difference in the see-saw match and the left-hander said he thoroughly enjoyed batting along with Dhoni.
"He was fantastic... He deserved the Man of the Match award," Yuvraj told reporters.
Asked to compare his experience of batting alongside Dhoni and Rahul Dravid, Yuvraj said, "They are different players and Dhoni is obviously more dashing. He is the kind of batsman who can make up in the end. No doubt Rahul is a great Test batsman but the way Dhoni plays in One-Day Internationals, we all can learn from him."
Dwelling on his crucial partnership on what he described as the slowest surface he has played ever, Yuvraj said, "It was a low wicket and on this kind of wicket, I thought I have to spend a little time and get those first 30 runs. That was my target."
"Batting was tough. We thought me and Mahi would make a partnership. We looked for a 50-run partnership but it got better," he said.
"We played smart cricket. We did not go for the big shots early on, rather waited for loose balls. We picked up those singles and played smart cricket," Yuvraj explained.
The dashing left-hander also did not hide his glee at proving wrong his critics, who alleged he was vulnerable on such tracks and against spinners.
"Some times I get this criticism from you guys that I can not play well on such slow tracks. So it was great to prove you guys wrong," he said, with an impish smile.
Despite going 2-1 up in the seven-match series, Yuvraj said India could not afford to be complacent.
"It's great to get the momentum but we cannot say right now that we would win the series. Australia are the top team.
They are coming after winning the Champions Trophy. We cannot be complacent.
"After all, they have not lost a (bi-lateral) ODI series in the last couple of years," he said.
Yuvraj also threw his weight behind Harbhajan Singh and Virender Sehwag and said both would hit form soon.
"Harbhajan is bowling well even though he has not picked that many wickets. But I think he bowled well today and gained lot of confidence. Hopefully he will deliver in the next few matches," Yuvraj said.
"About Viru, I'm always happy to see him bat, He has given us good starts in the last two games and I'm looking forward to a big century from him," he added.