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'It is not easy to motivate your team after such a dreadful tour'

Source: PTI
February 17, 2015 11:15 IST
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India captain MS Dhoni during a training session in Adelaide. Photograph: Michael Dodge/Getty Images

Mushtaq Muhammad, one of Pakistan's top captains and allrounders, has praised Indian skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni and his team for picking themselves up in their opening World Cup match against Pakistan which was a very high pressure game.

"It would be useless to say I am really disappointed with Pakistan's performance. This was a very big match and such a good chance to defeat India in a World Cup will not come again until four years. It was sad to see our team go into the match without any proper plan and our bowlers let us down," Mushtaq told PTI in an interview. 

Mushtaq also praised Dhoni's captaincy. "I thought he led the side well because it is not easy to motivate your team after such a dreadful tour.

"But Dhoni played all his cards right and used his bowlers sensibly and at times aggressively. He went for wickets and it worked for them."

MS Dhoni of India leads the team off the field during the ICC World Cup. Photograph: Daniel Kalisz/Getty Images

Mushtaq, who is in Karachi on a private visit, said he would give credit to Dhoni and his team for being so well prepared for the crunch match.

"It was a very high pressure game and the Indian team responded very well. I felt that after having lost so many times in Australia in the last two months the Indians would be jaded and their players fatigued so Pakistan had the advantage in the World Cup match," he said. 

"But it was a surprise to see the Indian team pick themselves up so well for the challenge. They played with a plan, their bowlers bowled to a plan and line and their batsmen applied themselves. These things were lacking in our side," he added. 

The former captain said that while India could now be a difficult side in the World Cup after their morale boosting win over Pakistan it was exactly the opposite situation for the green shirts.

"I just hope that our coaching staff works out a plan for our batsmen to counter the short of good length strategy applied against them by Dhoni. Now all other teams will follow the same plan and this could spell troubled for our batsmen who are comfortable playing from their crease," he said.

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