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Players gave more than 100 per cent: Dhoni

Last updated on: March 25, 2011 02:00 IST

'We did well in the field'

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Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni patted his teammates for giving more than 100 per cent in the home side's five-wicket win over Australia in the World Cup quarter-final in Ahmedabad.

- Scorecard Images

"I'd have been satisfied keeping Australia to 250. But we had our best fielding unit today. We are not a good fielding side we did very well on the field. I think we saved around 15 runs that we did not need to chase," Dhoni said after the match.

"All the players gave more than 100 per cent in the match," he said.

Dhoni admitted that his side were under severe pressure when they needed 70-odd runs to win but knew that they would romp home if Yuvraj Singh and Suresh Raina batted out the 50 overs.

"We needed 70-odd runs with the last batting pair. We were under pressure and the dressing room was tense. But we knew if Yuvraj and Raina played out the 50 overs we would make it. It was about handling the pressure," said Dhoni.


Image: Yuvraj Singh and Suresh Raina celebrate after winning their quarter-final match against Australia
Photographs: Reuters
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'Raina is technically better than Yusuf'

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He said Suresh Raina was included in place of Yusuf Pathan as the team wanted to bat out the full 50 overs.

"We wanted to bat out the full 50 overs. At number seven Yusuf's job was to go for runs. With Yusuf we were not able to bat out the 50 overs. We wanted 20-25 more runs. Raina is technically better than Yusuf and suited for this. It was not based on talent but it was about choice depending on the situation. We know Yusuf can be a very dangerous player," he said.

Asked about the semi-final against Pakistan in Mohali on Wednesday, Dhoni said, "The World Cup is being held in the sub-continent and India and Pakistan are playing in the semi-finals.

"It does not get better. The pressure will be big, but in reality it makes no difference to us. It will be just a game. Indian cricket team has always been under pressure and we have handled it well."


Image: Suresh Raina plays a leg glance during his match against Australia
Photographs: Getty Images
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'We did not bowl the way we would have wanted'

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Australian captain Ricky Ponting conceded that his bowling department did not do well enough to win the match.

"We played a reasonable game but not enough to win the match. It is disappointing to have lost the match. Probably, we did not bowl the way we would have wanted. We needed more wickets in the middle of the innings but could not not do it," said Ponting who scored 104 to help Australia score 260 for six.

"We competed hard and thought at the innings break that we have a chance to win with 260 runs. With 15 overs to go, it was touch and go, but Yuvraj and Raina played really well. We could not break the partnership of Yuvraj and Raina.

"Good luck to India in the semi-finals," Ponting said.


Image: Ricky Ponting during the post match conference
Photographs: Getty Images
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'I wanted to give my best whenever I get a chance'

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Raina, who stitched 74 runs from 10.1 overs with Yuvraj Singh for the unbroken sixth wicket to take India to victory, said a "high-five" from Sachin Tendulkar inspired him to give his best for the team.

"When I was sitting at the dressing room, Tendulkar came and gave me a high five. I thought he wanted me to do something for the team today. That gave me the confidence to give my best for the team," he said.

"Thanks to coach Gary Kirsten for keeping faith in me and play me today (in place of Yusuf Pathan). I wanted to give my best whenever I get a chance and I did that today," said an elated Raina.


Image: Suresh Raina celebrates with Yuvraj Singh after winning their quarter-final match against Australia
Photographs: Reuters
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'I am no Sehwag'

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India batsman Yuvraj Singh apologised to Gautam Gambhir after his unsavoury run out episode which almost threatened to break India's World Cup dream in the quarter-final against Australia.

In the 34th over, Gambhir was run out when, standing at the non-striker's end, he ran three-fourths of the way down the track even as Yuvraj was watching the ball after guiding it fine.

It was visibly Gambhir's fault but it left him frustrated as it was a crucial juncture of the match.

Asked what did he say to Gambhir after returning to the dressing room, Yuvraj said, "I told Gautam (after the run-out) I am not Virender Sehwag, I can't run like that ... Well, may be it was my fault and I apologised to him."


Image: Gautam Gambhir reacts after getting run out by David Hussey
Photographs: Getty Images
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'Pressure was immense'

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Yuvraj, however, kept his cool and played a match-winning unbeaten innings of 57 and together with Suresh Raina added 74 runs off 61 balls for the sixth wicket to see India through with 14 balls to spare.

The talented left-hander also scalped two wickets during the Australian innings which helped him to earn his fourth man-of-the-match in the ongoing World Cup.

Asked about his purple-patch, Yuvraj said, "I don't know about hitting any purple patch, but the pressure today was immense, playing Australia, it was something else."

"When Dhoni got out, I knew we still had Raina to come, and thought if we can add 40 odd runs it would be good and we cane take the game till the end. I was just trying to keep the ball down.

"I had a tough last year, I came back into the team and was hitting the ball well. I always looked to keep the ball grounded and stay till the end and it clicked," he added.


Image: Yuvraj Singh plays a shot during his knock against Australia
Photographs: Getty Images
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