Dhoni unhappy with Indian batsmen’s approach

February 25th, 2009 - 10:46 pm ICT by IANS  

Christchurch, Feb 25 (IANS) Indian skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni minced no words in saying that his batsmen let the side down with their carefree hitting and blamed them for losing the first of the two Twenty20 internationals against New Zealand here Wednesday.
Dhoni said the batsmen were done in by the temptation to hit sixes on a small ground.

In a match where a record 24 sixes were hit, none of the Indian batsmen, barring Suresh Raina (61 not out), Dhoni said, showed little application and they were in a tearing hurry.

“We failed to realise that it’s a 20-over game. At times people think there is not enough overs but it’s a decently long game,” he said.

“We failed as a team today. Nobody took the responsibility to stay out in the middle, more so after we lost three quick wickets. Somebody should have steadied the innings, knocking the ball around.

“It is important to have wickets to capitalise on the last five overs. If you have five wickets in hand in the last five overs I think you can have an upper hand. It was a learning experience for us,” he added.

However, Dhoni was happy with the performance of his bowlers.

“The bowlers did a fantastic job, especially Harbhajan Singh, who was playing after a long time. He was in good rhythm and was bowling the yorker superbly. Zaheer Khan and Ishant Sharma contributed as well,” Dhoni said.

Dhoni said the batsmen must analyse the situation.

“I think most of the batsmen looked in good nick. At times you have to analyse whether you are happy with the extra 25 runs or get to a total your bowlers can defend.

Dhoni described it as a good lesson in Twenty20 batting.

New Zealand captain Daniel Vettori was pleased with the way his bowlers came back after the way the Indians got off to a rollicking start.

“For our guys to restrict India to 160 after getting away so quickly and also with how small the boundaries are one side was just a toy hit.”

“There are number of aspects I was pleased with. We were put under immense pressure at the start. I am happy the way the bowlers responded and restricted a destructive batting line-up to 160,” said the Black Caps captain.

The left-arm spinner had a special word of praise for wicketkeeper-batsman Brendon McCullum who the side to victory with an unbeaten 56.

“In the chase, Brendon was the rock. Martin Guptill, Ross Taylor and Jacob Oram played around him. I couldn’t really have many complaints.”

Vettori himself bowled four tight overs for 18 runs and picked up the wicket of the explosive Yuvraj Singh.

The New Zealand skipper said the pitch was a bit slow and was helpful when they batted second.

Man-of-the-match McCullum praised the efforts of Guptill and Taylor in plotting New Zealand’s second successive Twenty20 win over India.

“With the batting we had and given the short boundaries here, we knew we would be able to get a few boundaries later on. So there wasn’t an urgency,” he said.

He said he enjoyed batting with Jacob Oram (29 not out) and finishing off the job after the T20 disappointment in Sydney where they lost by one run to Australia.

“I mentioned to Jake (Jacob) in the middle that it was like the old days finishing off an innings. It was nice to have a bit of experience, especially after the disappointment at Sydney. Being out there when winning runs were scored today was fun,” he said.

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