Dhoni delight at India win
India captain MS Dhoni expressed his delight after his side set up a mouthwatering last-four clash against Pakistan with a five-wicket victory over Australia in the quarter-final of the Cricket World Cup.
Australia had set a respectable total of 260, with captain Ricky Ponting returning to form to score a century, but Yuvraj Singh continued his fantastic run in the competition with a much needed half-century at a time when India seemed to be struggling in their chase.
Suresh Raina also played his part, scoring 34 not out to help India over the line and into the semi-finals, and Dhoni was delighted with the two players who saw India home.
“These were the two guys who needed to score the runs, with Yuvraj going well I thought we’d make it,” he said.
“It was about managing the pressure as well as the technical aspects. We didn't bowl as well as we needed to but we competed hard and I thought we were in with a bit of a chance.”
Ponting’s wonderful 104 had given the Australians a starting point ahead of their bowling, but the captain was not happy with the team’s effort in the field.
“260 was a reasonable total but the bowling wasn’t what we needed today,” he said.
“With 15 overs to go it was really touch and go but Yuvraj and Raina played well, we needed to get into their tail and we were unable to do that.”
It remains to be seen if Ponting will remain as Australia’s ODI captain, but his India counterpart Dhoni was full of praise for his own team-mates.
“We fielded the best we have so far today, everybody gave more than 100%, we are not a side known for fielding so we saved maybe 15 runs in the field today,” he said.
“It doesn't really get better than an India v Pakistan semi-final in the sub-continent, every game is the same for us irrespective of whether we play Australia or Pakistan.”
Man-of-the-match Yuvraj felt his side's ability to handle the enormous pressure on their shoulders was key to their victory.
“The pressure was on us. I knew Suresh had to come in after Dhoni so I just concentrated on hitting the ball down the ground and looking for the gaps,” he said.
“We held our nerves until the end and won the match, beating the three-time world champions is special but the semi-final will be even more special.”
Yuvraj also stated that he was happy with his own performances for India as they head to Mohali to play Pakistan.
“I started the World Cup well and I have concentrated on winning games for my country,” he added.