India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni today asked his teammates not to sulk after losing both the Twenty20 Internationals against New Zealand and gear up for the forthcoming ODI cricket series against the hosts.
Dhoni said the Twenty20 matches gave them a fair idea about the conditions and the opponents and the players should now focus on the five-match ODI series starting March 3.
It is great to play a few Twenty20 games before the one-dayers. There is no point in sulking and complaining that we lost two games, Dhoni said.
I am happy with the preparation and the effort. Most of the guys have spent reasonable time at the wicket. They know how the wickets will behave and this will be of great help when the one-day series comes around, he said.
The Indian captain said despite conceding their second straight defeat,he was proud of the team.
I am really proud of the side. The way we came back after the first three or four overs was encouraging. I thought Harbhajan (Singh) and (Ravindra) Jadeja were fantastic. It was sad to lose Ishant (Sharma) to a shoulder injury. Zaheer’s (Khan) second spell was amazing. He gave his full effort and was at his best. Irfan (Pathan) too came back well in his last two overs. However,we can do better in the batting. We are a much more talented batting unit than them, Dhoni said.
While applauding New Zealand for a stellar performance,Dhoni also called for more commitment from his boys.
New Zealand played better. Their bowlers bowled in the right areas consistently,and bowled a lot of yorkers. That puts a lot of pressure on the batsmen,at best you can only pick up a single.
I am not too worried about the result. I am more concerned about the commitment and effort. I believe the players gave more than a 100 percent,especially from the time Bhajji and Jadeja started bowling. The effort of everyone on the field was great, he said.
On today’s match,Dhoni said,It was quite a close match. That is what Twenty20 cricket is all about. It’s not just about huge hits,but also plenty of wickets,some big sixes. You want the game to go till the end. When we got 150,most people would have thought that New Zealand would win in 15 or 16 overs. So far,India’s famed batting lineup has not really set alight the series and the trend was evident today as well.
We lost wickets quickly again. When Yuvi and I were batting,we were comfortably placed,scoring at 6.5 or 7 an over. We were batting well in partnership,knowing that with our batsmen to follow,we could bank on having a go in the last five or six overs,he said.