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Dhoni gets in the swing

Stand-in skipper hails pace contribution

Dhoni: Playing his natural game

India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni said that reverse swing was the key to their record-breaking victory against Australia in the second Test.

The hosts scored a 320-run win - their biggest against their current opponents - at Mohali on Tuesday to take a 1-0 lead in the four-Test series.

Zaheer Khan ripped through Australia's batsmen on the morning of the fifth day, with he and fellow paceman Ishant Sharma taking a total of eight wickets between them in the match.

And, according to Dhoni, their ability to restrict Australia's batsmen with the new ball and then generate reverse swing was a decisive factor in the outcome.

"A lot depended on how quickly we were able to get the ball to reverse," he said.

"The new ball offered very little so it was important to maintain the ball.

"The guys whose task it was to maintain the ball did that pretty well and our bowlers were able to generate reverse swing in the 12th or 13th over.

"It becomes tough for batsmen when the ball reverse swings especially when it's hard and fairly new.

"We bowled in the right areas as well - our first 13 overs only cost us 22-odd runs.

"It shows how good we were with the ball."

Credentials

The Test credentials of Dhoni, who was standing in as captain for the injured Anil Kumble, have been questioned in the past.

His decision to opt out of India's Test series in Sri Lanka only added to the debate over whether his style of batting is suited to the five-day game.

However, he produced a strong performance in the second Test and narrowly missed out on a century in the first innings.

"It's important to play my natural game," he added.

"I had receded into a shell in previous matches and I had curbed my game a little. It's not acceptable to get out playing a big stroke in Test cricket, especially in India. That does play on your mind.

"But my strength is to play my strokes and that's what I should be looking to do.

"If there is a situation, then I could curb my game a little, but I should look to play my strokes more often."