Batsmen Let Us Down: DhoniDismayed at the team's inability to chase down a modest 251-run target, India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni today blamed his batsmen for the 24-run defeat against Australia, saying they simply failed to complement the effort
Dismayed at the team's inability to chase down a modest 251-run target, India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni today blamed his batsmen for the 24-run defeat against Australia, saying they simply failed to complement the effort of their bowling colleagues.
Dhoni said restricting Australia to a 250-run on a wicket that promised a run-feast was no mean achievement but lack of partnerships in the Indian batting line-up allowed Australia to level the series 2-2.
"I think it was a good effort by the bowlers to stop them to a total like 250. We got a decent start to our chase also but subsequently, we failed as a batting unit," Dhoni told after the match.
"We should have batted full 50 overs but that was not possible because we kept losing wickets at regular intervals," he rued.
Chasing 251, India were skittled out for 226 in the 47th over.
Asked if Sachin Tendulkar's dismissal -- a howler by umpire Ashoka de Silva -- was the turning point of the match, Dhoni said, "there was no single turning point. We had a number of turning points in fact.
"We badly needed some partnerships going. We got the start but we could not take advantage of that. If at least one batsman got going, it would have made things easy," he added.
Dhoni defended his decision to field, saying dew otherwise would have made things difficult for the bowlers.
"Dew is a big factor that always plays on your mind. From 15-40th overs, generally the spinners do the job for us. That would have been taking a risk. Of course it can backfire also, so it's difficult to choose.
"But we knew in Mohali, the wicket would not break much and ball would come nicely onto the bat with a bit of dew. I think our bowlers did a great job and 251 is something we should have scored," he said.
Dhoni conceded youngsters like Suresh Raina, Ravindra Jadeja and Virat Kohli are yet to learn how to accomplish difficult chase but he did not blame them for that.
"I think Raina today got out to a beautiful delivery, while Jadeja was run out after a mix-up. The thing is batting at number 6-7 is not easy since you don't get much opportunity to bat. You cannot pace your innings either, for you have to play according to the platform given to you. Sometimes, you have to accelerate or keep a partnership going.
"They are still inexperienced and I hope they learn from their mistakes," he said.
On the decision to send Kohli at number three, Dhoni said," To best way to give someone opportunity is to let him bat higher. At number 6-7, you score 20-30 in quick time or can get our for 10-12 also. I think it's important to give them chance.
"Virat is a talented batsman, good on the field and brings in lot of energies," Dhoni said.
He also threw his weight behind Ishant Sharma even though he admitted the pacer was not at his best.
"Look, it was a good, nice wicket to bat on. They got a good start, targetted him and succeeded. If batsman goes after a bowler, it gives you more chance to pick up a wicket.
"He is currently not at his best but I hope he would bounce back soon," Dhoni said.
The Indian captain said Gautam Ghambhir, who skipped today's match after being hit on the neck in the last game, is likely to play the next game of the series.
"He's most likely to be fit for the next game," Dhoni said. PTI