Johannesburg, Dec 22: As India eked out a thrilling draw Sunday, skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni said his team has only gained from the first Test here at the Wanderers.
Dhoni lauded his batsmen, especially Virat Kohli and Cheteshwar Pujara, and pace spearhead Zaheer Khan, who made an impressive return to international cricket after 12 months.
Dhoni was happy that his pacers delivered along with the batsmen.
“We had a basic amount of knowledge of the conditions in the ODI games. We usually play only one spinner outside India and we needed a big effort from the quicks and they delivered. Our batting did extremely well too, with Virat and Pujara and Vijay too to blunt the new ball,” said Dhoni.
Dhoni was confident that his bowlers would have defended the target of 458 they had set for South Africa to win the match.
The Proteas made 450/7 in the second innings and came tantalisingly close to creating history before settling for a breathtaking draw.
“I was confident if there were five runs to defend per over and they would pull it off. We might have been a little too attacking in the lead-up but this experience will help them know when to throttle down and pump it up,” he said.
Lauding Zaheer’s role as the leader of the pack, Dhoni said: “Zak is the leader of the attack and he will teach the bowlers where to bowl. I can only put the field and the most impressive thing was his fitness and we look forward to having him out there giving it his all again in Durban.”
Dhoni said he was now looking forward to the second Test in Durban that starts Dec 26.
“We’ve got great support there (Durban) and the pitch is always sporting. We’ve got a few bowlers who’ve played there. We have plenty to gain from that Test and it’s important to rest and get ready for that Test,” he said.