A dejected Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni took the blame for the team’s astonishing 25-run defeat against Australia on Wednesday but surprisingly tried to pick “positives” from the debacle in which the last 9 wickets fell for a mere 46 runs. (REPORT: India lose 4th ODI)
“It was my wicket (the turning point of the match) because that is my role in the team to make sure that we finish off the game from that position. We lost quite a few wickets there but mainly it was my wicket, according to role and responsibility in the side,” Dhoni owned up the responsibility after India snatched defeat from jaws of victory.
But the most surprising aspect was skipper trying to harp on the positives.
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“We are definitely disappointed, but you want to take the positives. If we could have batted better than we did after I lost my wicket, this game could have gotten over in 46th or 47th over. You look at it that way. And I feel there were a lot of positives in today’s game, especially in the batting department. Rohit’s knock gave the opening push and the next partnership between Virat (Kohli) and Shikhar (Dhawan) was fantastic,” skipper said in defence of his team.
“It all depends on how you want to take it. After the first three losses, people were saying it was difficult to come back, but in this game we came back really well. It also gave a glimpse of what you see in the T20s, a lot of flamboyant cricket,” he said.
He admitted that Rahane’s webbing injury was a factor.
“Yes, Rahane’s injury was also a factor. He had a few stitches and he had taken local anesthesia, so we had to wait and push him down the order until he got some kind of feeling back in his hand. Then only he could bat,” said the skipper.
Some of the youngsters like Rishi Dhawan, Gurkeerat Singh Mann were out playing poor shots but Dhoni defended the duo.
“That’s what pressure does to you. A few of them haven’t played a lot of international cricket. With time, they will realise that they have to build a partnership and once you get used to the pace and bounce of the wicket, you play the big shots.
“It’s only a first few games they have played and for the first time in their career, they were under some kind of pressure so hopefully they are learning,” he had some comforting words for the juniors.
Dhoni also singled out Ravindra Jadeja for criticism as the all-rounder didn’t really rotate the strike enough whilst batting with the lower order.
“He is among the most experienced among the lower-order batsmen, so you have to communicate. It is not only about your batting. You also have to tell the people who are batting with you what the bowler may be doing at that time and what the batsmen should be looking at.
“So a bit more communication will definitely help. I don’t think he is someone who really speaks a lot. So that’s also to be taken into account,” said the skipper.
Once again the bowlers faced flack for giving away 348 runs in the first innings, a tall order under any circumstance. Ravichandran Ashwin being left out from the playing eleven also stuck as a sore point.
“Yes, Ashwin has not played, but we will see the wickets and what is on offer and accordingly, we’ll decide the playing eleven. Rishi Dhawan came in his place and I felt he has done a decent job in the middle-overs.
“You had to play the big shot against him, which means that the batsmen will have to take that extra chance. He’s done reasonably well so far,” the skipper said.
“The bowlers will have to work on their strengths and weaknesses and according to the strength he has in the limited overs format, they have to be good at bowling yorkers. Whether he chooses not to and bowls back of length is something that will depend on scenario and wicket a lot and you need to have that ability to hit the yorkers a lot,” he signed off.