New Delhi, November 01: Yuvraj Singh, whose 148-run stand with Mahendra Singh Dhoni guided India to a six-wicket victory in the third ODI against Australia, said that they played “smart cricket” on a slow wicket to take a 2-1 lead in the series.
Yuvraj (78) and Dhoni (71 not out) curbed their attacking instinct to forge a match-winning fourth wicket partnership as India reached the target of 230 runs with 10 balls remaining.
Yuvraj, who was the Man of the Match, said that the Kotla track was the slowest he had ever played on and the nature of the pitch made it difficult to chase even a low total.
He though said that it was a satisfying innings that will prove his critics wrong.
“I have always been criticised for not playing well on slow tracks. I think I proved a point today. It was intelligent and smart cricket from us. The wicket was low and slow and we though that we will spend some time in the middle and not take any risk,” said Yuvraj.
The left-handed batsman admitted that it would have been tough for India had the target been 250.
“Thankfully we had only 230 to chase, otherwise it would have been difficult had the score been 250,” he said.
Yuvraj also said that batting with his close friend Dhoni eased the pressure.
“I always enjoy playing with him. Both me and Mahi were looking to post a 50-run partnership but it got bigger and better. We cut down on the big shots and capitalised on the loose balls and concentrated on singles. Dhoni is a kind of batsmen from whom we can learn how to bat in ODIs. He is very dynamic batsman and he can always make up in the end,” he said.
Yuvraj also said that Harbhajan Singh’s figures of 37 for one from his 10 overs was a good sign for the team.
“It’s just that he is not getting wickets but today he bowled well. It is a good sign for the team,” he said.
Australian captain Ricky Ponting said that his team was 10-20 runs short. Ponting also said that the track was one of the slowest he had ever played.
“But the track was same for both the teams. I can’t complain. We have to blame ourselves for the loss but batting first was the right decision on this track,” he said.