Mahendra Singh Dhoni credited rookie pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar for setting India on course for a victory in the third Test at Mohali against Australia. Kumar took all three wickets to fall as Australia took stumps on Day 4 on Sunday at 75 for three. "This was the turning point of the match," said Dhoni after India scored a six-wicket win on Monday to take an unassailable 3-0 lead in the four-Test series against Australia.
"Bhuvneshwar's three wickets clearly set us up for the final day," Dhoni said, indicating India's depended on early wickets in the last session on Day 4 to push the Australians to the wall. Dhoni complimented his bowlers "for bowling the right line" on a wicket that didn't have too many demons. "Yes the off ball turned and climbed, but it was not a bad wicket at all," Dhoni said.
Dhoni said his slow bowlers bowled well and the inclusion of left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja was decisive.
"Jadeja as our fifth bowled has really helped. We need five specialist bowlers to play on wickets like Mohali and he has played that role very well," Dhoni said. Jadeja finished with six wickets in the match and got the better of the in-form Michael Clarke on both occasions.
Dhoni was all praise for Shikhar Dhawan and Murali Vijay for their record 289-run stand that was the foundation of India's first innings total of 499 all out. "It was our best batting performance by a pair in a long time and Dhawan was very good," Dhoni said.
On Dhawan's sensational 187, Dhoni said: "It doesn't matter how many runs you score in domestic cricket. To play well in your first international game is very important and Dhawan did very well. But the future will be tough. Every time he will go out to bat, he has to live up to his reputation."
Meanwhile, Aussie skipper Clarke admitted his team was once again "outplayed."
"For the first time in the series we scored 400 runs in an innings and the way we bowled in the last day were the bright spots, but we have been inconsistent away from home. We have to correct this and this tour has been a learning curve," Clarke said.
Story first published on: Monday, 18 March 2013 17:56 IST