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Dhoni hails victory

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Wednesday, July 23, 2014

LONDON - India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni hailed his side's determination in forcing the collapse of England, who faced new trouble with the withdrawal of wicketkeeper Matt Prior for at least the rest of the season.

India head towards the third Test in Southampton on Sunday in a dominant position against a demoralised England — crushed by 95 runs at Lord's yesterday.

Ishant Sharma, not the fastest bowler in world cricket and not renowned for his use of the short ball, bounced out a succession of England batsmen after Dhoni, playing his last Test at Lord's, finally persuaded him to drop short.

The result was a devastating burst of five wickets for 24 runs in 33 balls either side of lunch that led Sharma to finish with Test-best figures of seven for 74.

India ended a woeful sequence of 15 successive Tests without an away victory. England have now not won in 10 Tests.

"This is a result of hard effort ... and it was fantastic to see the determination the guys showed," said 33-year-old Dhoni.

"It seems it will be my last at Lord's, for sure ... so it's definitely memorable."

Dhoni admitted it was initially very difficult to convince Sharma of a plan he'd hatched with India coach Duncan Fletcher, formerly in charge of England.