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Chawla has been under pressure: Dhoni

Last updated on: March 10, 2011 09:39 IST

'We wanted Piyush to be in a good mental state'

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Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni on Wednesday defended the selection of Piyush Chawla for their World Cup match against the Netherlands in New Delhi and said the struggling leg-spinner badly needed a game to regain his confidence for the bigger matches ahead.

- Rusty India shake off plucky Dutch

Dhoni said he wanted his bowlers to be in a "good mental state" and Chawla was selected for this match to get his rhythm back.

"We had to see which player needed this game. Piyush (Chawla) has been under pressure a bit. You want your bowlers to be in a good mental state, and that is one reason why we gave him the chance," Dhoni said after India clinched a hard-fought five wicket victory over the Netherlands.


Image: Piyush Chawla of India celebrates with team-mate Virat Kohli
Photographs: Getty Images
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'It was not a bad win'

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"He was bowling more freely today. It was an important game for him. He started off well but struggled against England. He made his debut early and is coming back into the team. People criticised him a lot, so it was a big game for him. Overall, I am quite happy with him," he said.

Dhoni acknowledged that the five-wicket victory may not look too great on paper but it was largely because of some experimentation they tried in the batting order.

- World Cup coverage

"Winning is important. It is not a bad win. Of course it looks bad on the record books. We were under some pressure in the middle overs, overall it was a good experience," he pointed out.


Image: India captain MS Dhoni (left) congratulates teammate Yuvraj Singh on scoring the winning runs against The Netherlands on Wednesday
Photographs: Getty Images
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'Everybody has got a fair exposure'

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The Indian captain tried to draw positives from the hard-fought win and said all the batsmen have now got a decent hit which will stand in good stead in the knock-out stages of the mega event.

"Everybody has got a fair exposure. That will be quite handy in the knock-out stage. It is important to keep improving in all departments of the game," he said.

Tendulkar completes 2000 runs in W Cup

Asked whether the team would continue to experiment, Dhoni said, "We have not really experimented as such. We just tried a few things. We are playing against two big teams and it is important to keep the momentum going."

On why Yusuf Pathan was promoted to the number three slot, he said the idea was to improve the net run rate and give him a decent outing.

"He is an aggressive batsman. We wanted him to play a long innings but the wicket was a little too slow. I am happy with his performance, he has a certain role in the team," he said.


Image: Yusuf Pathan
Photographs: Getty Images
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'Yuvraj is a big match player'

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Dhoni said he introduced his spinners as early as the fourth over of the innings as the track did not offer much to the fast bowlers.

"The Netherlands are not used to spin. There was no point carrying on with the pace bowlers, that is why we tried out Yusuf. When we thought that the pacers will get some reverse, we brought them back," he said.

Dhoni lavished praise on Yuvraj Singh.

"I have always believed that he is a big match player. It's good to see him score runs and get wickets," said Dhoni.


Image: Yuvraj Singh with his Man of the Match award
Photographs: Getty Images
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'It was a brave performance by our players'

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Rival captain Peter Borren said he was happy with the "brave" performance of his team and described the match as some kind of a "roller coaster ride".

"It was a kind of roller coaster ride. We started off well, lost our way in the middle, made some runs in the end. Then we had India at 99 for four and we had a chance," Borren said.

"We had a couple of good moments but we could not turn it around, probably we lacked the firepower I guess. But it was a brave performance and I am happy with the boys," he said.


Image: Dutch player Mudassar Bukhari (centre) celebrates with captain Peter Borren after dismissing India's Gautam Gambhir
Photographs: Getty Images
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