Melbourne: Heaping praise on his players for the emphatic win over South Africa in the cricket World Cup, team director Ravi Shastri said the management’s decision to stick with Shikhar Dhawan, despite his poor form in the run-up to the showpiece event, proved right.
Dhawan played an important part in India’s consecutive wins over Pakistan and South Africa, hitting 73 and 137, and Shastri took potshots at those who had questioned the opening batsman’s place in the squad.
“It was a clinical and professional performance, in batting, bowling and fielding, covering all the departments of the game. It was fabulous. When they play like that you think they can achieve anything. Today (Sunday), I never thought that the players were detached for a single moment or dropped their guard. They were focussed all through,” Shastri said after India’s 130-run thrashing of South Africa at the MCG.
“I would say those people who were asking why Shikhar was there in the World Cup squad, they don’t know their cricket. He committed some mistakes during the Test series against Australia. He got the starts but got out due to mistakes. But now against Pakistan and today, he was fabulous. He did everything right today, in his approach, shot selection,” said the former India all-rounder.
Praising the players for their “fabulous” fielding and bowling, Shastri said he thought it was like Australia or South Africa playing, instead of India. “Fielding was fabulous, bowling also. You would think it was Australia or South Africa not Indian players fielding. But when Australia or South Africa does that, people sit up and say fabulous fielding, not in the case of India and the same in bowling. When our three pacers were bowling 140km/h, people will not say what a fabulous bowling,” he said.