Dhoni showers praise on Pandey post pride-salvaging victory over Australia

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Sydney, Jan.23 (ANI): Jubilant after finally tasting victory on this Australian tour, India’s limited over skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni on Saturday heaped praise on Manish Pandey, who struck his maiden one-day century in a high-scoring thriller to help his side secure a pride-salvaging six-wicket victory against Australia in the fifth and final ODI here.

Dhoni said this innings will provide a great boost to his confidence and will help him in development as a character.

“Manish paced his innings very well. At some time you think playing big shot is what you should do at that point of time. But it is more important to realise that the ground in Australia are very big and if you miss-time the shot, there are chances of you getting out. You rely a lot on running,” Dhoni told the press conference.

“I think when it comes to development of a player, this innings will really help him. But what’s important for him is to remember the good things what he did in this game. How he really calculated the run chase. He definitely has a good future,” he added.

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“The kind of innings Manish has played, what happens is it gives you those 15 ODIs where you can settle and start to do what you want to do and adapt to the demands of the game also. When you play in different venues, a lot of stuff changes. As of now he looks somebody who is good at number five,” he further said.

The ODI skipper, whose wicket cost India the game at Canberra, said that he would continue to come down the order unless and until the team gets a settled 5, 6 and 7.

“Till we don’t get a settled 5, 6 and 7, I have to bat lower down the order. I have to slightly adapt for it. I find it a bit difficult to go and play big shots. More often than not, I batted after 30 overs and got a chance over to play six or seven overs and then trying to play the big shots. I have always found it difficult. But it is not easy for anyone to straightaway go and play the big shots. So, I think that will be my responsibility because I don’t see any other youngster doing that as of now,” he said.

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“I would love to bat up the order but I don’t see it happening in the near future. I will have to make some changes and adapt to play the big shots. It will take a bit of time,” he added.

Dhoni also appreciated the bowlers, especially debutant Jasprit Bumrah, who displayed a fantastic performance and took two wickets for forty runs in his quota of 10 overs.

“This was one game where our bowlers did a decent job. Umesh had a bad day and he was someone who went for a lot of runs but that responsibility was shared by Rishi Dhawan… The other bowlers bowled quite well. Ravindra Jadeja bowled well, Bumrah was fantastic playing his first ODI,” he said.

Staring at a series whitewash after four defeats, India rode Pandey’s scintillating 104 off 81 balls to chase down a 331-run victory target with two balls to spare.

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Pandey’s knock in his only fourth one-dayer clinched the contest for India and overshadowed centuries from David Warner (122) and Mitchell Marsh (102).

India will now turn their focus towards T20 format as they will take on Australia in the three-match series, which starts on Tuesday. (ANI)

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