Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni today lauded his spinners and batsman Ambati Rayudu for his side’s six-wicket thrashing of England in the third cricket one-dayer to take an unassailable 2-0 lead in the five-match ODI series here.
The Indian spinners, led by Ravichandran Ashwin (3/39), shot England out for a modest 227 before Rayudu top-scored with an unbeaten 64 to fashion an easy victory over the home side.
“The spinners did it for us. Ashwin and (Ravindra) Jadeja did really well, but it was also Raina’s spell after Mohit’s injury,” Dhoni said after the match which India won with 42 balls to spare.
Rayudu and Raina took one wicket each before contributing 64 not out and 42 in India’s successful run chase.
Dhoni said he never thought the Trent Bridge wicket would turn appreciably but it did to the delight of Indian spinners.
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“I never thought it would spin and in the back of my mind I was wary the ball would not do a lot. When I saw the pitch today it had some green but I think after the first 20 minutes or so it dried up and slowed down,” he said.
“Raina also bowled well and he gave us the first breakthrough. Rayudu also got a wicket. Both of them took us through in the run chase later on,” Dhoni added.
The Indian skipper said that Rayudu could be in contention for the number four slot in the ODI team.
“Rayudu did very well, we are still looking for a number four batsman and there are a few out there.”
Asked about Virat Kohli who put himself in with a 40 but failed to convert it to a big score, Dhoni said a big knock could be in the offing from the Delhi batsman very soon.
“Virat is in a bad patch but he is an aggressive player who has the fighter’s attitude. He has been middling the balls and it is only that he could not convert the starts into big ones.
“I can say that a big knock is around the corner from Virat.”
England captain Alastair Cook conceded that his side fared poorly against the Indian spinners and 227 was not enough to defend.
“We did not play very well. We had another good start and should have got more from 80 for none. We did not play well against (Indian) spinners and aren’t doing it right in the middle of the innings at the moment,” he said.
“We have to keep working and try to improve, otherwise we won’t get enough runs. 228 was not just enough. It’s easier said than done, but we have to work to get better.”
Man-of-the-Match Ashwin said the time he had by sitting out in the first three matches of the Test series which preceded the ODI contests had given him time to work on his bowling.
“The downtime gave me some time to work on my bowling,” he said.
“I thought the wicket (today) had some bounce, it was good to bowl on. Me and Jaddu (Ravindra Jadeja) have a good record against England which is a real help.I thought Suresh
Raina’s catch off my bowling was superb. It was going for four but he plucked it out.”