Can’t pinpoint exact reason for loss: Dhoni

Updated: Jan 06, 2012, 11:40 AM IST

Zeenews Sports Bureau

Sydney: Indian skipper MS Dhoni on Friday lamented the failure of the batsmen to get the runs on the board and of the fact that the team was not performing well as a unit during crucial junctures. He was also critical of the bowlers saying that inability to break partnerships was one of the reasons for the loss.

Dhoni defended under-fire coach Duncan Fletcher adding that “it was difficult to pinpoint the exact reason for the loss”, a statement that was as bizarre as his field placements during the Sydney Test.

“The first session did not go upto our expectations. Zak gave us three crucial breakthroughs but Clarke and Ponting put on a good stand. After that Hussey came in and scored a ton. Their scoring rate took the game away from us,” Dhoni added.

Dhoni was all praise for Oz skipper Michael Clarke, saying, “The Australian batting lineup made the most of the conditions. Clarke got used to the pace of the wicket and after that, it became difficult to contain him. We can defeat this team in Perth. Stats are not important, what you do in the game is important.”

"It was a good track to bat on. Clarke played brilliantly. He got the pace of the wicket. It was difficult to contain him and he was well supported by Ponting and (Michael) Hussey," he added.

Dhoni, however, remained optimistic of a turnaround in the third Test starting January 13 at Perth.

"Of course we can win there. It's not about what kind of start we have got, we will look to win in Perth," said Dhoni.

Asked on what would be the key strategy going into the final two Tests, Dhoni said, “We need to score runs and take wickets. Every game is different, you have to execute plans accordingly.” Dhoni also rued the absence of home conditions saying, “Once a batsman gets set in, especially in Australia, it is tough to get them out.”

Dhoni also said that the team was not low on motivation and was hopeful of a comeback and getting everything together before the third Test in Perth.

Clarke, also man of the match for his unbeaten triple hundred, was expectedly ecstatic after playing such a crucial role in guiding his team to victory.

"That's a great win on a really flat wicket," declared the 30-year-old Aussie captain.

In his moment of glory, Clarke chose to laud his bowlers for taking 20 Indian wickets on a pitch that was easy to bat on.

"It was a tough wicket to take 10 wickets but our bowlers were brilliant. I've spoken about consistency and our guys are doing that now," said Clarke.

Clarke said the discipline in the squad has improved and it is making a lot of difference to the overall performance.

"Our discipline has improved. We have got the talent. The consistency is getting better as well," he said.

Clark was also all praise for his senior teammates Ponting and Hussey, both of whom aided his knock with centuries of their own.

"Hussey and Punter have done a good job for the past few months. Probably not as consistently but they have been good. In any team you need experience and youth and I think now this Australian team has it," he said.

Clarke singled out his predecessor Ponting for the role he played in the match.

"His attitude around the group has been exceptional," he explained.

As if the triple century was not enough, Clarke was quite a handful with the ball as well as he dismissed Sachin Tendulkar (80), stopping the Indian icon from getting to his elusive 100th international century.

"It (Sachin's wicket) is a very handy one to have," he laughed.