Dhoni hails Pujara and fielding

India skipper revels in landslide win over New Zealand

Last Updated: 26/08/12 4:02pm

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India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni was impressed by Cheteshwar Pujara and the team's performance in the field following their convincing win over New Zealand.

Dhoni's men claimed victory by an innings 115 runs in the first Test in Hyderabad after they bowled the tourists out for 159 and 164.

"It was a hardworking wicket, it was difficult to get them (New Zealand) out," said Dhoni.

"We were also battling the weather and were never sure how many overs we would get to bowl at them. That was also a reason why we made them follow-on."

The result was set up by Pujara, who hit 159 in India's first innings of 438, while spinner Ravichandran Ashwin finished with career-best figures of 12-85, the best by an Indian against New Zealand.

"The catching was brilliant, Viru pa (Virender Sehwag) got some very good catches and (Virat) Kohli was equally good on the field. It is something we want to continue," said Dhoni.

He added: "Pujara batted well. It was important for Pujara as he was coming back after an injury. He is someone who is used to playing long innings. He has a good temperament and can play for long periods and the stroke-makers can play around him."

Improvement needed

For Dhoni's New Zealand counterpart Ross Taylor it was a disappointing four days and they have little time to regroup before the concluding match of the series starts in Bangalore on Friday.

"We couldn't sustain ourselves, the Indian bowling showed us a masterclass. We need to learn how to play Ashwin. We would be a lot better side come Bangalore," he said.

Asked about the decision not to play a warm-up game, Taylor said: "We have come over here in 2010 and drew the first two games without a practice match, we can't use that as an excuse."

He added: "(Brendon) McCullum and (Kane) Williamson played very well. Myself included, and a few other batsmen, need to put up more of a fight."

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