Melbourne:Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni said young fast bowler Ishant Sharma's impressive performance in the Test series was the reason behind throwing the new ball to him, a strategy which resulted in the five-wicket win over Australia in the tri-series one-dayer on Sunday.
A delighted Dhoni was satisfied that the Delhi speedster rose to the occasion and grabbed the chance with both hands.
"He was the pick of the bowlers in the Test series. He was impressive, so I gave the new ball to him and he responded well," Dhoni said after the match.
"The pitch was on the slower side. So we thought to use Irfan (Pathan) later and he was good in the middle overs," Dhoni added.
Dhoni, who played a crucial knock of 17 not out and stitched a 58-run match winning partnership with Rohit Sharma (39 not out), said that after losing five wickets for 102 they waited for the part-time bowlers to come on.
"We were waiting for the part-timers to come. The kind of conditions we were in, we thought our chance would come and we should wait for the right moment," he said.
Dhoni said the improving outfields in India was the reason behind the rising fielding standard of his side.
"When I was 19 or 20, the grounds were not up to the mark. But now they are better. It is making a difference and the fielding standard has gone up," he said.
Australian skipper Ricky Ponting blamed his team's uncharacteristically poor batting for the defeat.
"Our batting was poor. There was good pace and bounce and India bowled pretty well," he said.