India’s limited-overs captain Mahendra Sigh Dhoni had heaps of praise for in-form KL Rahul who had scored the joint second fastest century in T20Is in a nerve-racking match where West Indies won the game by just 1 run after posting a massive 245 on the board in their 20 overs.
Chasing the mammoth 246, Indian batsmen Rahul and Rohit were very calculative and have almost seen India home in the record run chase only to lose MS Dhoni wicket on the last ball when 2 runs were required.
“He has been very consistent,” Dhoni said after the defeat. “I feel that is a strength of Rahul also, compact player but at the same time unorthodox shots. He plays all over the ground, over covers, mid off, mid on. So a complete cricketer. Of course, there’s a long way to go for him but the way he has played in the last six months, it’s very encouraging to see him bat.”
Dhoni had also praised Dwayne Bravo for his brilliant last over where he gave away only 6 runs and took the all important wicket of MS Dhoni to win the game for his side.
“I felt we were totally in the game,” he said. “Even the last ball, the thinking was right, the execution was wrong. When it comes to Bravo, I feel in the current scenario he’s among the best when it comes to the death bowling. The amount of experience that he has really counts; so you always know if he’s bowling it’s tough. What then becomes important is how we’re executing.
“You have to really guess what he’s looking to a bowl and according to that, you play your shots. So if you guess the bowler well and execute well, you’ll end up winning. Rather than thinking who is bowling, what’s important is to think what his strength is and where he’ll look to pitch the next delivery.”
The Indian skipper have also backed the bowlers and have said that they could improve in the power-play overs as West Indies racked up 164 runs in first 12 overs before Indian bowlers could restrict them to less than 250.
“If we can improve how we bowl in the first six overs, in fact, it was the first 12 overs where we gave away too many runs,” Dhoni remarked. “I was very happy how we brought the opposition down when it came to the last eight overs. That really matters because that is something where we have struggled quite consistently but it was a good exposure to our bowlers and they finished up well to restrict them to 245.
“Immediately as a bowler, what you have to do is you have to assess the conditions and change your game plan to some extent. Normally you think on a good wicket if I’m bowling four overs, if I even get hit for 40 runs and get one or two wickets, it’s good enough. So you have to quickly assess what is a good bowling analysis on this wicket.”
Dhoni has also expressed his satisfaction with the facilities at the venue and have thanked the massive Indian contingent that turned out at the stadium to watch the game.
“The facility is as good as anywhere else,” he said. “The ground itself is up to international standard. You can’t score 500 runs on a bad wicket, so fantastic wicket. The practice wickets were fantastic.
“When it comes to the stadium, it’s not a big stadium. The moment I say stadium I mean the number of fans it can house. I think it’s close to 15,000. So overall looking at everything as a complete package, I think it was fantastic. We had fun.”