ICC Champions Trophy: India skipper MS Dhoni praises bowlers after semi-final victory

Last Updated: 20/06/13 9:17pm

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India will play England in the final of the ICC Champions Trophy Final after beating Sri Lanka by 8 wickets.

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India skipper MS Dhoni praised the excellent performance of his bowlers after they helped secured their place in the ICC Champions Trophy final with an eight-wicket victory over Sri Lanka in Cardiff.

Sri Lanka were restricted to 181-8 from their 50 overs following a disciplined spell from the Indian bowlers that saw their opponents struggle to get the ball away.

They were not helped by the loss of Tillakaratne Dilshan, who was forced to retire hurt in the fifth over.

"The bowlers have done really well but still there are a few areas we would like to improve and hopefully the bowlers will take up the responsibility in that area as well."
MS Dhoni

India reached their victory target for the loss of just two wickets in 35 overs, Shikhar Dhawan top-scoring with 68 while Virat Kohli hit an unbeaten 58, and they will now face England at Edgbaston in Sunday's showpiece match.

"I think it is a well-written script, started well by the bowlers," Dhoni told Sky Sports.

"It was a good toss to win, but unfortunately for Sri Lanka they lost Dilshan. We capitalised on that, then the bowlers bowled well - especially the spinners.

"I think it's always important to have good bowlers in your side.

"The bowlers have done really well but still there are a few areas we would like to improve and hopefully the bowlers will take up the responsibility in that area as well."

Wicketkeeper Dhoni took the unusual decision to bring himself into the attack for four overs in order to save his fast bowlers.

"It was still doing a bit. Bhuvnesh (Bhuvneshwar Kumar) had already bowled eight or nine overs and we had to keep overs of the fast bowlers for the death so we were not left with many options," he added.

"The only two options were Virat (Kohli) and me, so I said 'let's give it a go and even if I bowl badly, one over I can bowl and I can come back'.

"It went off pretty well so I thought 'let's bowl two or three and keep (R) Ashwin for the death'."

India are likely to go into the final as favourites to win the tournament, having won all four games in the competition, but Dhoni refused to take hosts England lightly.

"England are a very good side. We have played quite often in the last couple of years so we know the same amount about them and they know the same about us," he said.

In contrast, Sri Lanka captain Angelo Mathews, who top scored for his side with 51 from 104 deliveries, was left to consider what might have been if they had won the toss.

"The toss was absolutely crucial. We would have bowled first as well," he said.

"The ball was seaming around, swinging around, the pitch was two-paced, our batsmen found it difficult. But credit should go to the Indians."

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