After Test series loss vs New Zealand, MS Dhoni says bowlers have done well

MS Dhoni congratulates New Zealand for their fighting spirit and while he lauded Brendon McCullum and BJ Watling for their batting heroics in Wellington, praised his bowlers tried their best and have shown improvement.

Updated: February 18, 2014 12:54 IST
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After blasting his bowlers and urging them to "use their brains" after an unsuccessful ODI series against New Zealand, India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni appeared content with their performance in the two-Test series that concluded here on Tuesday. India saved the Wellington match but conceded the Test series 1-0. Dhoni said it was not due to lack of effort from the bowling department. (Highlights)

India, on Day 5, managed to save the Test match courtesy a gritty century from Virat Kohli (105*) - maintaining their No.2 Test ranking. This after Indian bowlers were made to toil for over two days by Brendon McCullum (302) and BJ Watling (124), the men who scripted New Zealand's record second innings score of 680/8, eventually helping team jump a place to seventh in Test rankings. Dhoni congratulated the Kiwis but said he could not fault his bowlers. (Match report)

"ODIs were quite disappointing but our bowlers did well in the Test series," Dhoni said at the post-match presentation ceremony. "We have been improving but we need to appreciate the way McCullum and Wating batted," Dhoni added. (McCullum first Kiwi to hit 300)

McCullum and Watling had seized the initiative from Indian bowlers after the tourists had reduced Kiwis to 94/5 in the second innings on Day 3. The Zaheer Khan (5/170 in second innings) and Mohammad Shami (2/149 in the second innings) combination had worked for India till McCullum and Watling came together for a record 352-run stand for the sixth wicket. Dhoni too appreciated the fight put on display by the hosts. "New Zealand is a great venue to play. I love Wellington and the support for cricket one can see here," he said. (Kohli hits 6th Test ton)

The support for Team India may now run the risk of wavering slightly as the side has now featured in 14 consecutive Tests and has remained winless. With the No.2 ICC ranking also set to fall from India's grasp -- official confirmation will come after the South Africa vs Australia Test series -- Dhoni will have to assess his options and formulate a definite and lasting plan for overseas tours. (Scorecard)

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