Chennai: India were pipped at the post in a thriller but Mahendra Singh Dhoni, with one eye on the ICC World T20, preferred to look at what went well. "As far as the team's mood is concerned, quite disappointed with the loss but lots of positives from this game," said Dhoni. "Brendon McCullum batted superbly, but I was pleased with the death bowling. Bala (L Balaji) bowled really well, which is a big plus. Of course, Irfan Pathan gave us those breakthroughs which were really important."
Virender Sehwag's unavailability because of flu meant that India had to tinker with their batting order. Virat Kohli, who was asked to open, topscored, but it was Yuvraj Singh's return that pleased Dhoni immensely. "It was good to see Yuvraj come back and score some runs. It was a big game for him. I personally feel that he gives us the right kind of balance we need," he said. "He is not someone who will bowl all four overs in a T20 game, but he is a variation that I can use especially since we have to play with four specialist bowlers."
Dhoni explained the importance of testing all the fast bowlers under match conditions and was all praise for Balaji, who marked his comeback with figures of one for 33 in four overs. "It was important to see how Balaji fared today. He has done really well in the IPL season. Death overs have been a concern for us so we want to see who are our best bowlers," said Dhoni. "With Irfan in, there are only two slots up for grabs. If Irfan is not playing, the balance of the team goes a bit haywire. I think Bala bowled really well in this game, which is good for us."