India tour of Australia 2016: Dhoni blames poor fielding for the series loss
On Sunday, Indian skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni said that the review of his leadership only can be done through PIL.
India suffered three consecutive defeats in this ongoing Australia tour after losing the third ODI by 3 wickets at Melbourne. India already ended their hope to win the ODI series as they are behind 3-0 after the first three ODIs out of 5 ODIs.
“There will be a conflict of interest if I start reviewing my performance. We would have to put a PIL to judge my performance as the skipper,” Dhoni said jokingly at the post-match press conference.
On a serious note, the skipper said, “It is not about the leader. I am captain at the moment and somebody else will come later. It is more important to see the areas we are lacking, the departments which have to improve when it comes to shorter formats.
Dhoni added, “We don’t have a seaming all-rounder so let’s not even go to that topic. If you see this series it is a relatively inexperienced bowling lineup. Ishant Sharma has played a lot of international cricket but he is not someone who has been consistently part of the format. Umesh Yadav has been on and off and there are others who have made their debuts here. So we have to assess right now is how good the individuals are and what are they doing and what’s their rate of development.”
Virat Kohli made an outstanding knock of 117 runs in the third ODI. Dhoni praised Kohli for his tremendous achievement in the young age. Dhoni said, “He has consistently performed and improved his performance. He is the best amongst the Indian batsmen, along with Rohit in the shorter format. Today the way he paced his innings, it was slightly different to the first two games. But he reads the game really well, which I think, is very important in the middle overs. Virat is somebody that we’ll have to look up to in the future because he’s somebody who will take the team forward for a long time.
“He (Kohli) is one youngster who has developed really well. I still remember the days when he was part of the side, at first, then he was dropped and then he came back in. It was in the Sri Lanka series I remember, and he opened for us and then he batted lower down for us.
“I always felt he was a top-order batsman and once he got the chance he grabbed that opportunity. Nobody even talks about anyone else at that slot which I feel is the good part.”
Dhoni blamed poor fielding for the series loss. He said, “The three matches were close games. In the first two games, we thought maybe 10-15 more runs would have been good. There was definitely pressure on our bowlers, but today the bowling was decent. We let down ourselves with our fielding. The best fielders in the group actually left quite a few deliveries and you accumulate those team runs, then the change around could have happened.”
Dhoni also spoke about Ashwin’s exclusion from the XI for the third ODI. Dhoni said, “I thought he (Ashwin) bowled well in the last game but it was the only slot available for trade. Because we couldn’t have dropped Ravindra Jadeja and played with Gurkeerat Mann and Rishi Dhawan as that makes batting slightly difficult. We needed that extra bowler also and for that, we had to leave Manish Pandey out.
“So that we could bring in Gurkeerat who could bowl 4-5 overs of spin if needed, and that was the reasoning behind it.
We also wanted to see what Rishi has to offer and I felt that he bowled decently in this game. With 2-0 down in the series, this was the only game where we could have made these changes.”
At once, Australia was in a pressure situation when they lost six wickets. But then Glenn Maxwell’s superb 96 runs knock took the match for the hosts.
Dhoni said, “It was an evenly-placed game at that point of time. There was a bit of dew also which meant the wicket would get slightly better. But at the same time, if we would have not given easy boundaries, we would have been able to maintain some kind of pressure that induces a false shot. There were a lot of misfields and that takes the pressure off the batsmen.”
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