Dhoni showers praise on bowlers

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='http://www.ndtv.com/convergence/images/thumbnail/ver1/d/dhoni-sl09-1.jpg' class='caption'> MS Dhoni singled out star performer Zaheer Khan for the team's series victory and said the bowlers did an excellent job on a dead track in the second Test.

Updated: January 27, 2010 08:00 IST
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India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni on Wednesday singled out star performer Zaheer Khan for the team's series victory and said the bowlers did an excellent job on an unresponsive track in the second Test against Bangladesh.

"It was a difficult task to get wickets in this track, both for spinners and pacers. But all credit goes to the bowlers. They really put their best to get those 20 wickets, especially Zaheer's spell," Dhoni said after his team crushed the hosts by 10 wickets to clinch the series 2-0.

"The ball was getting old and the wicket was getting slower and slower. This is a reason we decided to bowl first in this wicket. If you bat first you need to score 600 plus or else you have to again come and bat. So it was tough but I think the bowlers did a terrific job," Dhoni said.

Bowling a long spell, Zaheer was at his best on Wednesday, decimating the hosts with his seven for 87 in the second innings.

Heaping praise on the left-arm seamer, Dhoni said, "The ball was old and it was getting reverse swing. It was also keeping low. So we felt we can get some LBW decisions in our favour and decided to give Zaheer a longer spell."

Also praising left-arm spinner Pragyan Ojha for chipping in with two second innings wicket, Dhoni said, "Credit also goes to Ojha who took that one wicket of (Mohd) Ashraful at that time."

Dhoni was elated after the team's convincing series win but he refused to be complacent.

"We always can do better. For the last 12 months we have done well in both ODIs and Tests. There is always scope for improvement but the result is very satisfactory," he said.

However, Dhoni sounded a bit worried about the number of injuries that haunted the side in this series.

"The series was full of injuries so I am a bit worried. But with the amount of cricket that we play these days, it's is ok. I hope the players (VVS Laxman and Yuvraj Singh) are fit before the South Africa series," he said.

Dhoni's Bangladesh counterpart Sakib Al Hasan didn't blame the wicket for the comprehensive defeat in the second Test and said they just didn't bat well.

"We didn't bat well for two hours, epecially the one hour before lunch and that brought our downfall. There is nothing wrong with the wicket," he said.

Sakib admitted that they were completely outplayed by the Indians in the Test series.

"We tried our best and did everything we are capable of doing but something went wrong and we have to find out that.

"On the positive side, I think our bowlers did well and a couple of guys got centuries too," he said.

Zaheer Khan, who registered career-best 10 for 149 in the second Test, said his match-winning feat boosted his morale.

"It was tough as the wicket was slow but once it started getting reverse swing, it started going the bowlers' way. They had started well and needed to be pulled back. I am happy the way my spell went today and it has boosted my morale," said Zaheer who was adjudged both Man of the Match and Man of the Series.

Zaheer said he still needed to work on his fitness and bowl as much as possible.

"I still need to work on my fitness. My shoulder needs to be monitored and I have do the rehab exercises. I need to bowl more and more and I am looking forward to the South Africa series," he said.

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