Our bowlers did half the job: Dhawan
Pune: Opener Shikhar Dhawan credited the bowlers for India's six-wicket win, saying they did half the job by restricting New Zealand to a modest total in the second one-dayer here.
India under pressure produced a professional performance to beat the Kiwis by six wickets to level the three-match series 1-1. The series decider will be played in Kanpur on October 29.
Shikhar's 68 and an unbeaten 64 by Dinesh Karthik saw India overhaul the modest 230-run target with four overs to spare at the Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium here.
"Absolutely, 230 is not too much in these times. The bowlers bowled really well and the fielders backed them up well. The bowlers had done half the job actually for us. The pressure of chasing 230 is naturally always less compared to chasing 300. It's good we are on a winning run," Dhawan said.
"There was no seam movement when India bowled and the Indian bowlers bowled very tight lines and did the job for us.
We played their pacers better than they played our pacers," added the 31-year-old Delhi batsman.
Dhawan also heaped praise on pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who returned with impressive figures of 3-45.
"He (Bhuvneshwar) has raised his bar and I feel he is at a very high level. His control over the bowling is very good.
Not just at the start but other variations. Even when he bowls slower ball and knuckle ball he makes sure he lands it in the right areas," he said.
"The way he got that left-hander out (Colin Munro), it was because he pitched that ball in the right area and even when comes in the death over, he is the best bowler. Best bowler in the world I guess, the way he bowls Yorkers.
"I have seen him in the IPL and in the Indian team, he has bowled consistently well. He has improved a lot. And I feel that he has got a lot of belief in himself and that's what is showing out there," added Dhawan, who was Bhuvi's team mate in Sunrisers Hyderabad in the IPL.
Dhawan also showered praise on Dinesh Karthik, saying his skills of rotating the strike makes him one of the best middle-order batsman.
"About Dinesh I will say that he has worked hard and scored so many runs in domestic (cricket) that he is being rewarded for that and has made a place in the team again. He is one of the best middle order player, with the skills and shots he has and he is proving himself.
"The way he played the knock today and in the last game when the team was in trouble, his 30-35 runs, were beneficial.
When he bats, his strike rotation is good, which reduces pressure on the other batsman.
"Like today, I wasn't able to rotate the strike, but Dinesh was doing that, so I was not pressurized. So it benefits the team if a player like him rotates the strike as soon as he comes," said Dhawan, who notched up his 22nd ODI fifty in the game.
Dhawan said the team management decided to send Hardik Pandya up the order to put pressure on the Kiwis.
"Dinesh has been doing well and they (the team management) wanted to send Hardik (up the order) and take the game away from the opposition and that's what Hardik was trying out there and it went our way," he added.
"I was a bit surprised with their decision to bat first because there could be dew in the evening usually during this time. But it wasn't a bad track to bat on even in the first innings also, it was a good wicket.
"When we were batting we thought it slowed down a bit, the ball wasn't coming that nicely the way it should come," Dhawan signed off.