Yuvraj Singh’s big hits at the death overs helped India score 10 runs in excess of what would have been expected, feels skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni after the hosts registered a nerve-wracking 11-run win over Pakistan in the second T20 international on Friday.
“Yuvi was at his best, those big sixes and fours really helped us in the end. We got 10 runs more than what we would have been happy with,” said Dhoni at the post-match presentation ceremony.
Yuvraj creamed three sixes off Pakistan spinner Saeed Ajmal in the 19th over, which helped India post a competitive 192 for five. Dhoni praised his bowlers for finding their mojo just in the nick of time to restrict the arch-rivals to 181 for seven.
“A lot depends on the youngsters bowling the last overs, I think they held their nerve nicely. They were feeling the pressure but they responded really well and executed the yorkers. When they wanted to bowl slower ones they did that,” he said. Dhoni said Gautam Gambhir and Ajinkya Rahane laid a solid platform for the rest of the Indian batsmen with their 44-run opening stand.
“While batting we got off to a very good start from Gautam and Jinks. Overall it was a good competition between the two sides,” he added.
Dhoni’s counterpart, Mohammad Hafeez blamed his bowlers for not following the basics right.
“When we were bowling, we didn’t follow the basics, we bowled short of length,” he said.
Hafeez, who was adjudged the man-of-the-series, admitted that the 97-run partnership between Yuvraj and Dhoni made all the difference.
The Pakistani skipper said the batsmen should have scored more runs in the 7-10 overs while chasing the target.
“In the first six overs, we played very well but in the seventh-tenth over we didn’t score as much as we should have. We wanted Umar Akmal to have more time in the middle but overall it was a good game.”
Man-of-the-match Yuvraj Singh said today’s knock came as a sigh of relief for him as he was finding it difficult to middle the ball in the nets a day before the game.
“Yesterday, I was batting in the nets and I couldn’t middle a single ball, so I was trying to spend time in the middle there,” he said.
Yuvraj said had Dhoni and he stayed at the crease till the end, India would have ended breaching the 200-mark barrier.
“We thought 160-170 was a good total but if MS and me stayed till the end we knew we could score more,” he said.