Perfect start to title defence pleases Dhoni

India captain MS Dhoni didn't try to hide his glee at the team's perfect start to their title defence in the Twenty20 World Championship.

updated: June 07, 2009 08:26 IST
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Trent Bridge:

India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni didn't try to hide his glee at the team's perfect start to their title defence in the Twenty20 World Championship even though he felt the side settled for a below-par score.

"It's a great start and it's always important to win the first match of any tournament," an elated Dhoni said after the side beat Bangladesh by 25 runs in their Group A opener.

According to him, the side could not make the most of the flying start given by openers Rohit Sharma and Gautam Gambhir even though the total proved enough for a facile win.

"We got off to a great start but could not capitalise on that. Me and Gautam tried to accelerate but we could not. At that phase, we were going below-par. Looking at 180, I would say it's a par score here and we reached it thanks to Yuvraj's (Singh) brilliant knock down the order. Rohit (Sharma) too played a crucial knock at the top," he said.

Dhoni singled out Yuvraj, who hammered 41 off just 18 balls, and said it was always great to watch the left-hander on song.

"He is a kind of player who can have great impact on a game. Whenever he plays like that, the biggest of ground can be small for him," Dhoni said.

Dhoni also took the occasion to underline that the team was a close-knit unit and there was no rift in it.

"We always have been a close unit and we are not bothered about what people think outside," he said.

Introducing Yusuf Pathan as early as in the third over turned out to be Dhoni's master-stroke as the off-spinner broke Bangladesh's opening stand just when it started looking dangerous.

Dhoni said with the pacers proving ineffective, he had to try something different.

"See, Yusuf is one of those bowlers who are very consistent. Even in IPL, we have seen part-time bowlers like Rohit Sharma and Suresh Raina doing a great job. So if nothing works, you better try something out of the box than just going with the fast bowlers," he explained.

His Bangladesh counterpart Mohammad Ashraful felt they conceded 20 extra runs which cost them the match.

"I think we didn't bowl and field well. We gave away 20 runs too many and it proved costly in the end," he rued.

Pragyan Ojha, who was adjudged Man of the Match for his four-wicket haul, was beaming after shining in his debut Twenty20 International, something he would never forget.

"It was cold out there because of the breeze and bowling was not easy. But I'm happy with the way I performed. It was a great feeling and a memorable debut for me," he said.