Our batting was again disappointing, says Dhoni
Kolkata: Humiliated at home for the second straight time in less than a month, India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni on Thursday blamed his batsmen and termed their performance "disappointing", but added that the team needs to access the situation with a cool-headed approach.
An insipid India slumped to yet another series defeat with a pathetic display as arch-rivals Pakistan spanked the hosts by 85 runs in the second cricket one-dayer to take an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match series here today.
"It was a very good effort by bowlers to pull them back and restrict them to 250. As a unit they have done well. In India, if you bowl first and restrict your opposition to 250, it`s a good effort.
"But again our batting was disappointing. It`s important to have wickets in hand in the end. If you have wickets in hand, it`s possible to score 80-odd runs in the last 10 overs," Dhoni said.
"It`s very important to keep rotating and not give away wickets. There will be phases that you have to see through but we could not cross that period. We lost five-six wickets and we were not really into the game. It seemed 250 was a big score from then on," he added.
Chasing 251 for victory, India were all out for 165, but Dhoni was a bit defensive when it came to the whole team.
"It`s tough to come and give proper explanations. You just cant turn up and blame the players. At the end, we are a team and we lose as a team. As a unit you`ve to bear the loss and still keep moving forward. It`s a challenge only one person can come, and I`m representing them. As I said last time, I would love to be the punching bag.
"Everybody knows it`s disappointing. When you are going through transition, you want your senior players to perform and groom the juniors."
Dhoni said they need somebody to take up responsibility in batting. "Once two-three wickets start falling, you need someone to soak up the pressure and consolidate the innings.
"If they don`t perform the pressure is on the juniors. It`s important to do well as a batting unit. It`s important to take up the responsibility and share the responsibility," Dhoni said.
"Especially after the game, I don`t think you should be really expressing yourself. Players are high on emotion after a loss. You need to be very calm and cool and look ahead to see what needs to be done. At the end people need to go and perform and that`s what the criteria is."
Asked about his batsmen falling to pacers every time, Dhoni said, "It`s a difficult question to answer. When the bowlers are doing well, you have to keep out the good deliveries and score off loose ones. This is a basic point.
"It does not matter how many batsmen you`re playing. But with every fall of wicket, the pressure starts mounting. Whatever it is, we have to improve that."
Dhoni, however, defended Kohli and felt he was dismissed by a beauty of a delivery.
"It`s not that the top three were not performing in last 14 months. Virat got out to a ball you can`t really say much."
This being a home series, Dhoni said the side was really under the pressure to perform.
"It`s rightly said that we had a lot of pressure being a home series. If you play many matches, you know how to come out of the situation. I think it`s just a matter of time.
"The main pressure is created by the opposition. It would have made more sense if we created pressure on Pakistan. It`s easy to answer when you win matches. When it`s a closely fought series then the pressure is on both the teams."
On opting to bowl, Dhoni said: "The pitch remained quite the same. I felt slightly better with the lights. There was something for the fast bowlers."
And about Nasir Jamshed, who scored his second consecutive ton against India, Dhoni said: "You need to have a batsman to get off to a good start. It does not matter at what number he`s batting. It really helps to rotate the innings and take calculative risks. That`s what he showed in his both the innings. He batted with good composure."