I think we have been competitive in the series: MS Dhoni

I think we have been competitive in the series: MS Dhoni

(Photo Source: Getty Images)
MS Dhoni batted well in the final ODI and seemed happy about the way his team performed. (Photo Source: Getty Images)

Indian skipper MS Dhoni finally experienced feeling in the ODI series. Manish Pandey’s maiden hundred helped India end the series on a winnings note at the historic SCG. The right-hander made a classy unbeaten 104 off 81 balls including 8 fours and a six to help his team overhaul a record target of 331 with 6 wickets and 2 balls remaining. Dhoni himself contributed with a crucial 34 off 42 that featured a four and a very importance six when India needed it the most in the last over of the match.

At the post-match presentation ceremony, the Indian skipper expressed his happiness and said that the goal for the team was to win matches.

MS Dhoni said: “I think we have been competitive in the series. The goal was to win matches. The first four games, I thought were close, but we didn’t close it down well. That’s important in the ODI format. Every over matters especially in a high-scoring game. Giving those 15-20-run overs, it becomes slightly easier for the opposition. The top order has been together for a long time now. Where we have been hurt a little bit is the lower-order batting, where Manish did really well today, and also the fact that we have not had a settled bowling attack. We have to improve our fielding slightly. Grounds over here are quite big, and once you know the fielder is not that quick or doesn’t have a good fielder, you will put pressure on that fielder.”

The series wining home skipper Steve Smith was impressed with his teams efforts but conceded that it was a brilliant run-chase by India.

Steve Smith said: “It’s been a pretty big run-scoring feast. Very proud of the way the players have played in this series. Tonight was a masterclass in chasing [from India]. We missed a few opportunities in the field, but that happens in cricket, but we have to move on and improve. [The T20s] are a different format, and there is a World Cup around the corner, so the boys are raring to go.”

Manish Pandey won the man of the match award for his splendid efforts and understandably seemed happy to have registered his maiden ODI ton in a winning cause.

Manish Pandey said: “Batting No. 4 is one of the chances I got because Ajju (Rahane) was injured, and I wanted to capitalise, especially on these wickets, with 300 scored in every match. Always nice to have Indian people in the stadium, it’s a big boost to us.”

Rohit Sharma had a marvelous series and was rightly adjudged the player of the match. He expressed his satisfaction about his ODI form.

Rohit Sharma said: “Not really [frustrating to get out on 99] because we won the game tonight. Young Manish Pandey did really well, playing his fourth one-day international, getting that hundred and getting us off the mark. Over the course of the tournament, we played some really good cricket. Little moments we couldn’t capitalise on. We never thought we were 4-0 down. We wanted to come and win this game and go with a positive frame of mind into the T20 series. I’ve been batting really well in one-day cricket, it’s important that I keep scoring runs for the team.”

(Quotes source espncricinfo commentary)