Dhoni rues India's batting failure

"The problem was that we kept losing wickets at regular intervals," was how India's captain M. S. Dhoni summed up the reason for India's six-run defeat to New Zealand in the second One-Day International at the Feroz Shah Kotla.

M. S. Dhoni had scored 39 off 65 balls at No. 5 to keep India afloat in its chase after the top order failed.   -  PTI

M. S. Dhoni has possibly reached a point in his cricket career where he chooses not to react to a defeat. He responds to it.

After India’s narrow >six-run loss to New Zealand in a match which the home team looked like winning more often than not, the skipper was spot on in finding the root cause of the defeat.

“The problem was that we kept losing wickets at regular intervals. In the 41st over, we lost two wickets. It’s not about one batsman. Any batsman could have said today that had they batted even 10 percent more, he could have won the game. It is the responsibility of the whole batting unit as a group. I thought the bowlers did well. Once you have a partnership going you need to keep it going. When you keep losing wickets, you lose momentum.”

On the possibility of Hardik Pandya taking the match to the final over instead of going for a big one in the penultimate over, Dhoni said, “He could have. The option is always there. You have to target who the bowlers are you want to hit. In these situations, even last ball counts. It is good exposure when you are under the pump. It always teaches you a lot. Maybe, if that shot had gone over point or for a boundary, it would have been different. Whether to finish early or in the last over will be his call. He will learn slowly.”

Praising the bowlers for keeping New Zealand down to 242, Dhoni said, “The bowlers did well to bring us back into the game. Initially, it was slightly difficult to contain their batsmen, not to mention that we dropped two catches off Williamson. That had a bearing. Overall I was happy with 240-245 because I felt that was something we could have achieved.”

On his own batting, Dhoni said, “Yes. I wanted to play a few more strokes. But it’s not easy when you lose wickets from the other end. You have to build partnerships when that happens. If you are chasing, you have to calculate. It is good enough if you can finish in the 47th-48th over and set the pace of the game accordingly on a difficult wicket.”

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