Cricket World Cup 2015

Dhoni hails bowling unit

2015-02-28 13:50
MS Dhoni (Gallo Images)

Perth - India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni admitted Saturday that his bowling attack, so often over-shadowed by the team's legion of batting superstars, will be key if they are to successfully defend their World Cup title.

India hardly broke sweat at Perth's WACA ground as they cruised past the part-timers of the United Arab Emirates by nine wickets, easily reaching the 103-run winning target they had been set.

But unlike their two opening wins at the tournament which yielded totals of 300 and over against Pakistan and South Africa, Saturday gave India's bowlers the chance to make decisive contributions against a UAE side who won the toss and chose to bat.

"The bowlers have really stepped up and this has led to improvements in other parts of the side," said Dhoni.

"When we were losing games outside the sub-continent it was a concern and we couldn't get wickets in the middle overs," he added.

"Now we are getting wickets with the new ball and the spinners are able to put more pressure on in the middle overs. As a unit they are doing well. They have shown they can do it game after game."

Ravichandran Ashwin took a career best of four for 25 with fellow spinner Ravindra Jadeja claiming two wickets.

Ashwin said he was delighted to have his moment in the spotlight after his team's batmen had ran riot in the first two games, with Virat Kohli and Shikhar Dhawan making centuries against Pakistan and South Africe respectively.

Suresh Raina and Dhawan also hit half-centuries against Pakistan while Ajinkya Rahane went past the 50 mark against South Africa.

In a reminder of the team's batting strength, Saturday saw opener Rohit Sharma make an undefeated fifty.

"I usually bowl at phases of the game when you are trying to buy wickets or cut the runs down but today went well," said Ashwin.

"I am an attacking bowler but when it comes to this format I am unselfish. It doesn't matter about the numbers as long as I contribute."

UAE skipper Mohammad Tauqir had seen his team lose two close games to Zimbabwe and Ireland but on Saturday they were simply outclassed by the champions with only Shaiman Anwar, who hit a century against the Irish, showing any resistance with a tidy 35 before being last man out.

"It was not a par score, we were outplayed by the Indian bowling," said Tauqir.

"We should have scored 200-plus but Ashwin bowled brilliantly and we couldn't cope. Our top order need to be more responsible."

Read more on:    india  |  cwc 2015  |  mahendra singh dhoni  |  cricket

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