Don't want to pressurise Bhajji with 'all-rounder' tag: Dhoni

Updated: 16 November 2010 11:06 IST

MS Dhoni said he doesn't want to put pressure on Harbhajan Singh by calling him an all-rounder.

Don't want to pressurise Bhajji with 'all-rounder' tag: Dhoni

Hyderabad:

India spinner Harbhajan Singh might have struck back-to-back hundred in the last two Tests against New Zealand but captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni on Tuesday said he doesn't want to put pressure on the spinner by calling him an all-rounder.

"Bhajji is still a specialist bowler, who can bat. I don't want to give him a tag of an all-rounder and put pressure on him," said Dhoni at the post-match presentation after the second Test ended in a draw here at the Rajiv Gandhi International stadium.

"But his batting surely gives us a cushion of having five bowlers in the team. It is good sign for our batting department," he added.

Harbhajan Singh, who saved the first Test at Ahmedabad against New Zealand by scoring a crucial hundred in the second innings, besides a half-century in the first essay, continued his fabulous run with the bat in the second Test as well.

During the Hyderabad Test here, Harbhajan came up with a fine 111 not out in the first innings to give India a healthy lead against the Black Caps.

India had a great chance of winning this Test as New Zealand started the final day only 115 runs ahead with six wickets in hand but the hosts failed to take early wickets and conceded the advantage.

Dhoni admitted that the Indian bowlers failed to create pressure on the kiwi batting line-up but said Zaheer's loss also left them with fewer bowling option.

"It was important to get early wickets and create panic in the opposition camp. We did manage to do that also but then we lost Zaheer (Khan), who got injured and it became difficult to play with three bowlers. I would say, bowlers did a good job," he said.

On a perfect batting strip, India could not take their chances even as Brendon McCullum's career-best 225 helped Kiwis set up an improbable 327-run target for India in the final session after the visitors declared at 448-8.

"There was bit of a grass on the first day and by the fifth day it grew and made batting easier," said Dhoni. However, Man-of-the Match McCullum was happy with his batting irrespective of the track.

"I had a good start and I would like to try and build on it. So far, I am throughly enjoying my the opening slot in Tests," said McCullum.

McCullum was promoted as opener for the first time in his Test career in this series, and he lived up to the expectations by countering both the pace and spin attacks with ease during his maiden double-ton.

McCullum was also all praise for Kane Williamson, with whom he shared a valuable 124-run stand for the fifth wicket that saw New Zealand cruise through the opening session.

"Kane took all the pressure off and played aggressive brand of cricket. He has been outstanding in the last two Test matches," said McCullum.

Skipper Vettori also heaped praise on the batters. "I am extremely pleased with the top-order batting. It has taken away the pressure from us. Today, McCullum and Williamson set up the rest of the day for us," said Kiwi skipper Daniel Vettori.

The two teams now head to the final Test in Nagpur and India would be desperate for a victory to avoid being held at home by their lesser-ranked opponents.

"The wicket at Nagpur assess the bowlers and specially the spinners. So, I am hoping to get a result in the last match," said Dhoni.

Vettori said, "It is a one-off Test now and we would be putting our best foot forward."

Topics : Cricket Harbhajan Singh
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