As nervousness gripped him during India’s thrilling chase in the third one-dayer against West Indies,coach Gary Kirsten said he drew comfort from skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s presence at the crease.
“Someone like MS Dhoni can hit the ball out of the ground at any time so it was comforting knowing that we had him at the crease controlling the game,” said Kirsten.
Man of the match Dhoni,hit an unbeaten 46-run knock to take India through in the rain-truncated third ODI and take an unassailable 2-1 lead in the four-match series.
The wicketkeeper batsman hit a six in the last over when the team was needing 11 runs to win.
“He’s had a magnificent series and he’s played some really good one-day cricket for us. When it comes down to the wire it can go either way,the most important thing is that you have game breakers and match-winners in at that situation,” said Kirsten.
Kirsten said the chasing in a rain-truncated match helped India’s cause. “It definitely helps a team batting second in this type of set up. It did suit us to be batting second because you can dictate the game a little better when the overs are shortening in terms of what you need,” he said.
“It became a Twenty20 game and you know that when you are chasing more than a run a ball and (the required run rate) is up at eight and nine and you have one bad over,you’re behind a little bit,” Kirsten added.
The electronic scoreboard on the ground had stopped functioning towards the end of the match but Kirsten said he ensured that the batsmen in the middle were well aware of the target,that was revised twice over.
“It was mind-blowing to be honest,but the umpires were giving them notice every over so they knew what was going on,” he said.
“They were fully aware from us what the Duckworth-Lewis totals were so we were pretty much in control of that,” he added.