Dhoni: 'Lack of partnerships cost us the game'

India's captain M. S. Dhoni has attributed the 19-run loss in the fourth One-Day International in Ranchi to paucity of partnerships in India's innings.

India lost five wickets for 39 runs to slump to 167 for 7.   -  K. R. Deepak

Assessing the loss against New Zealand in the fourth One-Day International (ODI) here on Wednesday, India’s captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni said his team paid its price for not getting a good partnership going.

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The only decent stand in the Indian innings was the one between Ajinkya Rahane and Virat Kohli for the second wicket worth 79 runs. Thereafter, the wickets fell in a heap and the Indian chase lost its way.

“When you have partnerships going a lot of stuff becomes easier. And when you lose wickets at those junctures, it adds to the pressure. That is when (opponent) bowlers tend to bowl in right areas and it becomes difficult to rotate (the strike),” Dhoni said after the match.

“Again in the second innings once the wicket slows down, it does not come on to the bat that well and it adds to the difficulty,” the Indian captain added.

The World Cup winning captain said the problem lay in India's lack of match practice in the ODI format.

“If you see the last few months, we have not played many ODIs lately. We only had a Zimbabwe tour in between,” Dhoni said. “The stats do not exactly reflect the right scenario. Also it is fact that I have batted at different position in that period. Our top order was batting brilliantly and so everything was very different,” he added.

Dhoni said the batting will stabilise once the youngsters in the side learn how to tackle pressure by playing more matches. “Batting down the order on wickets like this when you are chasing is always going to be tough. You will have to give them (the youngsters in the side) more time. After they get more and more games like this they will figure out what suits best for them to chase a total,” the Indian captain said, adding that he was disappointed not winning in his hometown.

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