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Losing toss was a blessing in disguise, says Dhoni

Last updated on: November 14, 2008 18:58 IST

Delighted with the perfect start to the seven-match series against England, India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni said losing the toss was a blessing in disguise, for he too would have opted to field first in the first ODI against England.

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England captain Kevin Pietersen won the toss and inserted India, only to see the hosts pile up a mammoth 387 for five and in their chase, the visitors wilted for 229 within 38 overs.

Dhoni admitted he too would have opted to field first.

"Losing the toss was a blessing in disguise, we also wanted to field," an amused Dhoni said after India crushed England by a record 158 runs.

"We expected the pitch to help the seamers in the first 30-45 minutes but the pitch didn't do much," he observed.

Dhoni was effusive in his praise for Man of the Match Yuvraj Singh who braved a back pain to blast an unbeaten 138 off just 78 balls.

"After the fantastic start given by (Virender) Sehwag, (Gautam) Gambhir and (Suresh) Raina, Yuvraj was simply fantastic. On a day like this, the opposition cannot do much. That kind of innings just takes you through," he said.

His opposite number Kevin Pietersen also doffed his hat at Yuvraj and felt England indeed could do little against such a devastating batting by the Indians.

"At the end of the day when you stand up and watch innings like Yuvraj - Sehwag and Gambhir also played well - you just have to say 'well played guys'.

"It was an amazing batting pitch. Little touch and it went for four, you touch harder and it goes for a six. But when blokes played like that, you can only say 'well played'. They played superb cricket," Pietersen said.

The England captain, however, insisted that with six more matches to go, England would bounce back in the series. 

"We have to regroup and sort things out. There are six games still left," he said. Yuvraj, on his part, was elated after notching up yet another scintillating century, which he considered among his best knocks.

"It has been a hard couple of months. I didn't have a good last series and was not in the Test series. I sat down and thought about what I need to do to improve," said the left-hander.

"The rate at which I carried on, this is one of my best knocks in ODI. I didn't have to run, I just pressed the pedal. Guys around me like Raina helped and before Viru and Gambhir gave a good start. It was a great batting wicket," he said. 

Asked about his back pain, Yuvraj looked confident of regaining full fitness before the second ODI. "I pulled a muscle in the back, will try to get fit for the next game," he said.

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