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Rediff.com  » Cricket » Most successful ODI captain Dhoni lauds his 'fantastic' team

Most successful ODI captain Dhoni lauds his 'fantastic' team

Last updated on: September 03, 2014 09:40 IST

Mahendra Singh Dhoni of India signs autographs

Mahendra Singh Dhoni of India signs autographs after winning the 4th Royal London ODI against England at Edgbaston. Photograph: Gareth Copley/Getty Images

Mahendra Singh Dhoni hailed his former and present team for helping him become the most successful Indian ODI captain after the visitors thrashed England by nine wickets in the fourth One-dayer to take an invincible 3-0 lead in the five-match series in Birmingham.

Rahane leads India's demolition of England with maiden ton

Scorecard

"When I started leading the team, I got a fantastic team then, and I have got a fantastic side right now," said Dhoni, who became the most successful Indian ODI captain with 91 wins.

"There will be ups and downs, but thanks to everyone, whoever I have played with. Without their contribution it wouldn't really have been possible. All the senior players I played with and who played under me, followed by the youngsters. I personally feel we are a very good, a fantastic ODI side. And there will be ups and downs, but what is important is to keep the intent positive. Thanks to all the players," he said.

India kept on improving with every match

Ajinkya Rahane (left) and Shikhar Dhawan

Ajinkya Rahane, left, and Shikhar Dhawan put on 183 runs for the opening wicket to set up convincing India's nine-wicket victory. Photograph: Michael Steele/Getty Images

This ODI series win will surely lift some gloom off the Test results on this tour.

But talking pertinently about the series win, Dhoni said India kept on improving with every match especially after the 1-3 drubbing in the Test series against England.

"The good thing is that we have kept improving from the first ODI onwards. That's definitely a big positive. It was a good toss to win today. The fast bowlers bowled really well initially and gave us those early breakthroughs because of which we were able to put pressure on their middle order.

"Overall we are very happy. Ajinkya Rahane also got a century and we got an opening partnership. So it was a complete game for us," he said.

Rahane scored 106 runs, his maiden ODI hundred, and in doing so he put on 183 runs for the opening wicket with Shikhar Dhawan who returned to form with an unbeaten 97.

India scored 212 for one in just 30.3 overs overhauling England's 206 all out with 19.3 overs to spare.

"In this particular game the openers batted well. But they have to continue doing this in each and every game, or most of the games," said Dhoni.

"That is when you can say the problem has been sorted. They will find it tough. At the same time if they can get us a good opening partnership.”

‘Spinners have been fantastic’

Suresh Raina celebrates

Suresh Raina celebrates with his India teammates after catching England captain Alastair Cook. Photograph: Gareth Copley/Getty Images

"As far as this series is concerned, we haven't really faced slog overs from the opposition. Apart from that, the new-ball bowling has been good, spinners have been fantastic, and there were run-outs in the games, brilliant catches, partnerships, so everything else has been covered apart from the slog bowling. That's one area that will only happen if the opposition has wickets in hand," Dhoni added.

Alastair Cook under pressure

England opening batsman Alex Hales

England opening batsman Alex Hales is bowled by India pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar. Photograph: Gareth Copley/Getty Images

England have had their fair share of troubles with players not performing up to the mark, their captain Alastair Cook being under pressure and non-selection of Moeen Ali.

It can be said that their World Cup preparations have been derailed while they haven't really tested the Indian team.

Dhoni agreed that India were not at al tested in the ODI series.

"We were not tested because our fast bowlers bowled well initially in the game. Where they didn't bowl well, the spinners took the responsibility. In batting, we have kept improving from the first game, which I feel is important. We will only see how much we will be tested. Testing is good, but you don't always want to be tested. You want to win games easily too, you don't always want to hang in until the 49th-50th over," said the Indian skipper.