In his post-match interaction after India’s historic win at Lord’s, MS Dhoni spoke about why his bowlers are increasingly comfortable bowling the bouncer, which was effective against the England batsmen. Excerpts
On Lord’s victory
Don’t know how exactly it feels. It will be my last Test at Lord’s. I don’t see myself coming back here. Definitely, a memorable Test match. It is great to win a Test match outside India. It being at Lord’s, yes, very special.
On Ishant’s short balls
To start with it was very difficult to convince him. When he first came to bowl, I told him to bowl short and I turned the other way. I set the field for him, so he doesn’t even think of bowling up. So that was the strategy. Give him a field so he is forced to bowl the length that I want him to bowl. It worked and once he got Moeen’s wicket. He was eager enough to try that line for a consistent period of time. He will have to bowl short because he has the height and can exploit the bounce.
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On convincing bowlers
At times, we had this problem in South Africa and New Zealand. We bowled the first 10 overs without bowling a single bouncer. When you ask them, they say it was swinging enough to get the batsmen out. At times it is not the bouncer that gets you the wicket, but what happens after the bouncer. At times it becomes difficult to make them understand (bowlers) even if you are saying it in simple words. Now in the past four or five games, I definitely think they have a more open view on bouncers.
On standing back to Jadeja
I actually wanted to put a fielder there. But you can’t have three fielders there. I wanted Virat to stand slightly wide because anything like a faint edge on the leg side would go between me and him. So the plan was to stand behind and cover that. The good thing was that they didn’t really step out and miss one because that would have been a perfect thing for the commentators to talk like ‘that’s why you shouldn’t stand behind and all that’.