Indore: A relieved Mahendra Singh Dhoni today took a dig at those calling for his ouster as India's limited overs captain, saying there are a lot of "people who wait with open swords and want him to make mistakes".
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India's MS Dhoni clouts one en route his 86-ball 92 in the second ODI against SA at Indore yesterday. Pic/AFP
Facing the heat after a run of defeats and for his own poor form with the bat, Dhoni today scored a match-winning 86-ball 92 in the second match to guide India to a 22-run victory and level the ODI series 1-1. "It is not an easy game that we play, a lot of people wait with open swords and want you to make mistakes and have fun with it," Dhoni said after India bowled out South Africa for 225 in 43.4 overs, in a chase of 248.
"It was a good game for us. There were a few soft dismissals and we didn't score something which was par on this wicket. We didn't start well with our bowling but our spinners did well and gave us the breakthrough and later the pacers also came into action and gave us those wickets which was needed at that point of time.
"So, overall I would not say it was a complete game because definitely we can play much better with our skills but it is good to win games," he added. Dhoni made it clear he was not completely happy with the performance of his team but said it was good to win after a series of losses.
"It is not every time you lose in home conditions. Yes, we didn't play to our full capacity, we are not even 80 per cent of what we can, so overall it was a good team performance. As a batting unit we may not have scored something which we could have defended but the bowlers showed that we are able to defend that."
Asked if he was tensed when No. 9 K Rabada was batting, Dhoni said: "It is always difficult when lower order batters are batting. We knew we needed two good deliveries and a bit of luck too. We had to play to our self strategy. I wont say that the game was in our hand but we had a chance if we could bowl at the right areas and I feel the bowlers did that."
Talking about his performance, Dhoni said: You always want to play well for your country but not always things goes your way. "In the last 2-3 years, it's the top order major work for us they loads of runs. That means the middle and lower order batsmen get to bat after 35 overs. We do crib about the fact that we are not good enough to go for big shot straight away.
That is something we have to improve. Someone has to do it. It is fact but sometimes you have to do the dirty job. It has been a good 2-3 years with few ups and downs. But overall as a team we have done well."