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Toss played a key role in winning the first ODI – MS Dhoni

Zia Rana July 22, 2012

The Indian captain, MS Dhoni believed that winning the toss in the 1st ODI vs. Sri Lanka was important as the visitors made full use of it and scored massive runs.

The Blue Shirts hammered 314 runs for the loss of just six wickets in the measured 50 overs. The Islanders fought well but managed 293 after losing nine wickets and in the end, India won the electrifying match by 21 runs.

The pitch was favourable for batting in the first innings and the Indian batsmen utilised that to the maximum. It was difficult to bat in the second innings and the Sri Lankan batsmen found it hard to cope with the rival bowling. Dhoni narrated the importance of winning the toss by saying,

MS Dhoni - Believed the winning of toss was crucial

MS Dhoni – Believed the winning of toss was crucial

“This was one game where I felt the toss would be crucial. In the second innings, there was variable bounce and it was a little difficult to bat on.”

The prominent opener, Gautam Gambhir, was clean bowled around his legs for three mere runs but the second wicket partnership between Virat Kohli and Virender Sehwag changed the complexion of the game.

The attacking batsman, Virender Sehwag, got a life in the second over when he was dropped by Tillakaratne Dilshan at point on the bowling of Lasith Malinga. The 33-year-old did not open his account until then but exploited the chance and went on to score 96 runs before he was unluckily run out.

Virat Kohli was their hero once again and ended up by thrashing 106 runs. He continued with his brilliant form and that was his fourth ton in the last five outings as the 23- year-old has smashed unbeaten 133, 108, 66 and 183 in his previous four innings.

Rohit Sharma was bowled cheaply for just five runs, Suresh Raina responded with a quick fifty and the skipper himself scored 35 runs.

Dhoni was not satisfied with the performance of the entire batting line up of his team and wanted more application from them down the order to ensure better results.

The innings of the hosts was held together by their experienced batsman, Kumar Sangakkara, and revolved around him until the time he was at the crease. Dilshan went back to the pavilion cheaply and the Indian bowling ripped through the middle order batting of the Lankan Lions. Sangakkara and Thisara Perera became a threat for the visitors and were going well at one stage before the first was gone after piling up 133 runs.

The seventh wicket partnership between Sangakkara and Perera contributed 78 runs while consuming 8.5 overs. Perera became the ninth victim after scoring 44 runs off 28 balls and the home team was restricted to 293 at the end of the 50th over.

The last 10 overs bowled by the Indian bowlers resulted in 90 runs which were scored freely all around the park. MS Dhoni was unsatisfied with the performance of his bowlers in the death overs. He wanted his bowlers to become more professional and commented,

“The death bowling for us needs to improve. Zak was good, one good positive was Irfan Pathan doing well. Without Jadeja or Yuvraj, it is difficult to make a side balanced in both departments so this was important. It’s a good learning experience for the younger bowlers.”

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