Millennium Post

‘Ashwin knows his game, Shikhar prepared well’

‘Ashwin knows his game, Shikhar prepared well’
“The spinners have really bowled well. As far as Ashwin is concerned, obviously he’s someone that I always love to have, the reason being I always pushed him to bowl in the powerplays and even have used him whenever I’m in difficult situations. So he is really confident about his bowling. He understands his bowling well,” Dhoni said about his leading spinner, who has taken 11 wickets in five games so far.

“I believe he (Ashwin) has learnt a lot in the last few foreign tours. The good thing with him is that he keeps improving himself. Every time he’s part of the series, he sees the challenges and accordingly he improves. So it’s obviously good to have him, and it’s good to see him bowl really well,” the skipper, who seemed really happy about his Chennai Super Kings colleague, said.

Shikhar Dhawan on Tuesday cracked a scintillating century as rampaging India demolished Ireland by eight wickets to seal the top spot in the Group-B table. Asked how much faith he has in Shikhar Dhawan, the Indian captain said that left-hander’s attitude towards improving himself as a player gives him confidence. “You know, it’s important to back players, and we try to do it to the extent we can. And I felt though he (Shikhar) had a tough series, still I felt we had put a lot of effort in him, and not to forget without his contribution it would have been very difficult to win the Champions Trophy. So we always believed in him. But the final step needs to be taken from the individual and I felt he prepared well for these ODIs,” Dhoni said.

Asked about how motivated the team will be facing Zimbabwe in an inconsequential game, the skipper said, “Every game pushes you to do something special, and I felt we did really well on the field. It will be the last game before knockouts, so we’ll like to keep improving every.”

Dhoni’s India only second to Ponting’s WC victory record

With nine straight World Cup wins under their belt, MS Dhoni-led India stand only second to Ricky Ponting’s Australian side that registered 24 consecutive victories in the showpiece event. India now stand second alongside Clive Lloyd’s West Indies in terms of consecutive victories in World Cup. The eight-wicket win against Ireland here on Tuesday was India’s ninth in the quadrennial extravaganza, the run starting with the victory over the West Indies in the previous edition.

They comfortably took the top spot in pool B as Dhoni also overtook former captain Sourav Ganguly, who had led the Men in Blue to eight consecutive World Cup wins in the mega event. It was against the West Indies on March 6 that Dhoni overtook Ganguly for most overseas ODI wins as a captain.

Dhoni’s India surpassed Ganguly’s record of 58 wins in 110 matches, at the WACA last week. Dhoni is also credited with most wins (12) by an Indian captain in World Cups. He has overtaken 1983 World Cup-winning skipper Kapil Dev (11), Mohammed Azharuddin (10) and Ganguly (9).
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