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'We were looking at a score of 250'

Last updated on: November 17, 2008 18:53 IST

Victorious India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni and his deputy Virender Sehwag admitted that they did not expect a 290-plus score after a weak start on a two-paced track in the second ODI against England in Indore on Monday.

Happy with the way his teammates bounced back after being reduced to 29 for three at one stage, Dhoni said he was looking at a total in the vicinity of 250.

"We were looking at a score of 250 but it was Yuvraj (Singh), Gautam (Gambhir) and Yusuf Pathan who made 292 possible," Dhoni said.

Sehwag said he felt a modest 220 would have been good enough on the two-paced track.

"In fact, I sent message to Gautam that a score of 230-240 would be competitive here," Sehwag said.

"The pitch was not easy to bat on, the ball was stopping before coming on to the bat. But thanks to Gautam, Yuvraj and, of course, Yusuf, we crossed the 290-mark," he said.

Yuvraj (118) and Gambhir (70) put on 134 runs to steady the ship before Yusuf slammed an unbeaten 50 off just 29 balls to power India to a commanding total.

Dhoni, meanwhile, was not surprised by Yusuf's power-hitting and said, "He was up to the mark. He is known for this kind of batting and it was expected of him." 

Though India are comfortably positioned in the seven-match series, Sehwag said the intensity will not dip in the subsequent matches. 

"Right from the start of the series we have put pressure on England, and in the next matches also we would be doing the same," he said.

Yuvraj and Sehwag shared seven wickets between them and the India vice-captain reckoned the hosts benefited from the presence of a number of part-timers in their ranks.

"I think it gave us more options. If you have batting all-rounders, who can roll their arms over, and especially on this kind of wickets, it really helps you," Sehwag explained. 

Yuvraj, on his part, was happy to continue his rich vein of form and also credited Gambhir for the bail-out act they carried out together.

"At 29 for three, I thought I need to go out there and spend some time as the wicket was not easy to bat on. Talking to Gambhir in the initial stages helped me a lot," said the left-hander who also won his second successive Man of the Match award.

England captain Kevin Pietersen said having sent down three Indian batsmen cheaply, the visitors had a chance in the match but they could not capitalise on that.

"At 29 for three, we definitely had a chance but we lost our momentum in the middle. Yuvraj was once again fantastic. I think 293 is definitely a big score but we have improved from our last game," he said.

Looking ahead, Pietersen said, "We need to carry on from the good start like the one we got here. One top order batsman needs to make a big score."

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