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Rediff.com  » Sports » Gambhir-Raina partnership was crucial: Dhoni

Gambhir-Raina partnership was crucial: Dhoni

January 28, 2009 19:23 IST

Skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni described the six-wicket victory over Sri Lanka in the first One-Day International as a "collective effort", adding the partnership between Gautam Gambhir and Suresh Raina was the key.

"The partnership between Gautam and Raina was actually important. In fact, I am happy with the whole batting effort," Dhoni said, after India won the match by six wickets.

"It was a collective effort as everybody chipped in. Gautam, Raina, Yuvraj... and I contributed as well. It's good to see the whole team performing," he said of India's sixth straight ODI victory.

The left-handed duo of Gambhir and Raina stitched a 113-run stand for the second wicket which laid the perfect foundation for a successful chase; it also offset the setback of losing Sachin Tendulkar early in the innings.

Having lavished praise on the batting, Dhoni felt there is room for improvement for his bowlers.

"Maybe we could have done a bit better with bowling," he said.

On the timing of powerplays, Dhoni said it is "tricky to judge" the timing of powerplays.

"It's actually tricky, especially when you are chasing. If you take it in the 38th or 40th over you can still get 60-70 runs easily. But it's important to get the initial breakthroughs," he added.

Sri Lankan captain Mahela Jayawardene, however, felt there is no reason to panic and insisted his team will not change its ways.

"We have changed our way of playing and we will continue with that. I don't thing there is need to panic yet," he said.

Asked whether he felt the target of 247 would be enough, Jayawardene replied, "I give credit to our guys because it was not an easy wicket, but it probably slowed down later on and so was good to score runs.

"We lost out two guys who were settled during the powerplays. But the Indians batted well. They kept the pressure on us through there batting as well as bowling."

The Sri Lanka skipper also said they were under no pressure to perform.

"There was no pressure to take wickets but we could not bowl them out."

Man of the match Sanath Jayasuriya felt that his team fell short by 25-30 runs.

"The wicket got easier gradually and the Indian players batted well -- the openers and Dhoni," Jayasuriya said.

"We were short of 25-30 runs. We had upperhand at the start but we got stuck when the spinners came in," he said.

The veteran batsman, who became the oldest cricketer to score an ODI century, said they needed to put pressure on the Indian team.

"We should have put pressure on them. We should have put more pressure on Indian spinners and also on their batsmen."

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