Cricket: Dhoni Lashes out at Aussie Media after Victory

BRISBANE, Mar 5: Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni lashed out at the Australian media for their unrelenting attempt to pin down Harbhajan Singh all summer after his side had won their first-ever tri-series title here on Tuesday.

"Tomorrow we would be gone. They now need someone to replace him (to keep themselves occupied)," said a calm Indian captain.

"Sometimes it wasn't clear if it was only Harbhajan or Michael Jackson (they were covering)," Dhoni said after India beat the Australians by nine runs to win the best-of-three finals by a 2-0 margin.

Dhoni commended Harbhajan for standing up to the pressure and gave a backhanded compliment to the Australian cricketers and media for keeping him stirred.

"As a captain it helped me. More controversies and he became more determined. He is an aggressive, expressive player - someone who fights hard and wins the game.

"The backlash worked for us. After sometime we got used to it. We knew everyday we open the newspaper there would be something.

"The best thing about human beings is that they get used to it. Maybe now in India, I would search the net for what is going on in Australia (now that we wouldn't be here)," he said.

Dhoni made a few path-breaking decisions on this tour by way of encouraging youngsters as well as playing five specialist bowlers most of the times.

"At certain times, you need to decide whether an extra batsman or an extra bowler would work in your favour. If a batting side is not doing well, you try to keep them down by playing specialist bowlers."

Dhoni refused to take any credit for his side's triumph and had an interesting theory to explain why he retained his calm in moments of extreme crisis during the second finals at Gabba.

"Everyone is under pressure. If bowlers are trying to do well then even batsmen are trying to finish off the job. By delaying things and taking your time, you are putting extra pressure on them.

"Captain ka role nahin hota (It's not captain alone). It's ultimately how your players react under pressure (that matters)."

Dhoni chose the moment to assert that this would be the core side of an Indian team in coming months.

"This is the core side. We may have more spinners at home and a few new faces might come in but this would be the core."

Dhoni also explained the reason for including Piyush Chawla in the two finals as well as his opinion on Robin Uthappa as an opener.

"We wanted to surprise Australia with Piyush Chawla in the finals. He mixes it well, he varies his pace and has a googly which turns on any wicket. He is also very consistent with his line and length. He would become a better bowler with exposure.

"As for Robin, he can do more damage at number six or seven. If he settles down as an opener, he would buy a few more games for himself."

As for himself, Dhoni was happy to get a few extra days break for himself and openly expressed his worry about the amount of cricket being played.

"I haven't driven a bike for a long time. If the series had gone to the last game, we would've boarded the flight on March 9 and hardly got time for ourself as there is a meeting on March 17 or 18.

"We need some rest, either you take a break or god gives you the break.

"After all everybody is human and constant cricket can exhaust you in the end. You need time to recover, rest is important. As they say Rest is Best for Test."


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Title: Cricket: Dhoni Lashes out at Aussie Media after Victory

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