New Delhi, March 19: Bengal captain Manoj Tiwary paid heed to Sourav Ganguly's advice of trying to bowl wide outside the off-stump to Mahendra Singh Dhoni but reminded that his young teammates were not "bogged down" by Dhoni's menacing presence.
"Dada told us that Dhoni is very strong straight so we should try to bowl as much as outside the off-stump. During their innings, the ball started keeping low, so I told my bowlers to bowl a bit straighter. Once he hit (Amir) Gani for two sixes, I told them to bowl outside off-stump," Tiwary said after the end of day's play.
Asked if he had any word for the youngsters who were playing against Dhoni for the first time, Tiwary said:"I spoke to the bowlers when they were bowling but I didn't speak to them anything in general. The reason being today's younger generation of players don't get intimidated by big names. They have confidence and self belief. My boys played fearless cricket and bowled well at the death. Full credit to selectors as we are now working with a terrific bunch of talented boys," Tiwary said.
The skipper did not agree that senior spinner Pragyan Ojha has had a tough time this season.
"Ojha was the joint highest wicket-taker for Bengal alongside Ashok Dinda during the 2015-16 Ranji season. He has gone through a lot but been a champion performer. He has had good perormances at the Test level also. Even this season, he has dismissed Yuvraj Singh in a Ranji match. This 5 for 71, I will take any day. The moment Ojha removed Dhoni, I knew the match was over," Tiwary said.
He was all praise for openers Abhimayu Easwaran and Shreevats Goswami for laying the foundation.
"Abhi and Shree were told to wait for 10 overs and then take it from thereon. But they got off to a good start as their bowlers went haywire with their length. They laid the foundation for me to attack. About my innings, I believe it was important in the context of the match as there was someone needed in those last overs to hit big shots," he concluded.