Series win a collective effort: Dhoni

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Gwalior, Nov 16 (UNI) Having clinched the series 3-1 against Pakistan in the third one-dayer yesterday, India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni said all the team members contributed to the win.

''Cricket is a team game, all the boys contributed to the fantastic win. When the bowlers were not doing well, the batsmen did well and when the batsmen fail, bowlers had chipped in,'' he told reporters after India's six-wicket series clinching victory over arch rivals Pakistan here.

With yesterday's win, India had taken an unassailable 3-1 lead in the five-match series with the fifth and final match left to be played at Jaipur on November 18.

Indian team cricket manager Lalchand Rajput also said all the team members contributed to the series win. ''The whole team has contributed to the win. We played as a team,'' Rajput said.

Dhoni, however, said his bowlers need improvement especially while bowling at the dead. ''I thought Pakistanis bowled better at the dead,'' adding that batsmen had run away with lots of runs because of the nature of pitches in the ODIs.

The Indian captain said he was surprised by his counterpart Shoaib Malik choosing to bat after winning the toss.

''There were lots of dew while we did net session last night.

I do not know why he chose to bat first. Had I won the toss, I would have elected to bat first,'' he said.

Dhoni, who wore on his right shoulder a batch issued on the commemoration of 75th year of establishment of the Indian Air Force, harped on the importance of his batting in tandem with Yuvraj Singh in the middle and slog overs.

''We have a very good understanding and it helps the team. We are both stroke makers, at times when I only score ones and twos he will play the shots and score the boundaries and it is vice versa when he could not get the boundaries,'' Dhoni said.

A disappointed Pakistan captain Shoaib Malik said 255 was a competitive total and India won the match because his new ball bowlers had conceded lots of runs.

''The new ball bowlers failed to contain the Indian batsmen especially Tendulkar and we lost,'' he said.

Malik was philosophic when asked how his team members feel after losing the series to their arch rivals.

''It hurts, but we are professionals and we have to live with it,'' he said.

Malik said his team would want to win the final ODI at Jaipur to carry the momentum to the three-match Test series with the first match beginning in New Delhi on November 22.


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