Brisbane: The Indian dressing room's calmness went for a toss much before the batsmen capitulated against Australia on Saturday, revealed skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni and said the "unrest" caused by Shikhar Dhawan's backing off affected the team's performance in the lost second cricket Test here.
Dhawan had to delay resuming his overnight innings on Saturday after being hit on the wrist during a net session, forcing Virat Kohli to come in at a very short notice. The Indians collapsed to 224 in their second innings, leaving Australia to chase a paltry 128 today. The home side won by four wickets eventually.
"We thought Shikhar got a blow but he was good enough to bat but he was not. As you saw, he went into bat late. But with that kind of a scenario, there is a bit of unrest in the dressing room and the calmness of the dressing room goes for a toss. It was a bit late to verbally resolve the problem," Dhoni told mediapersons.
Dhoni said Kohli got less than 10 minutes to prepare himself before going out there in the middle.
"It was quite late and we could only give maybe 5-10 minutes' notice to Virat that he would go in to bat. That's one area which we could have handled a bit better but it's something that we will have to take it in our stride.
Dhoni then went on to narrate the entire incident that did create a bit of controversy on the day.
"We went to practice and the wicket wasn't good for it. A few of the batsmen batted and Shikhar got hit and left. After that, I had padded up and I went in. He (Shikhar) was a bit uncomfortable but he didn't react and say that he can't bat," Dhoni said.
He went on, "Shikhar came back to the dressing room and Duncan and I were there. By that time, I had finished my batting and I found the wicket to be a bit uneven. But by the time we came back, it was quite close to the start of play.
And there, we realised that Shikhar wasn't really 100 per cent fit to go into bat."
Dhoni feels that what India required was calmness for about 25 minutes as that would have had a stabilising effect.
"What was really needed was some kind of a partnership, 20-25 minutes batting and things would have been normal. But that didn't happen. That was the area we lacked and we couldn't really capitalise on," he added.
Dhoni accepted that this defeat is indeed "disappointing" and one needs to look at corrective measures also.
"The defeat is disappointing. But it is important to see the reason why it happened and then you can rectify them," said Dhoni.
"I felt today's first session was very crucial and I don't think we handled it really well. That was one of the main reasons (for defeat) because if we had a decent partnership going and got a few more runs, we all knew the wicket was misbehaving to an extent."
Dhoni feels that had they been able to stretch the match to the fifth day, they could have exploited the two-paced track.
"If the game would have gone to the fifth day it would have been a bit up and down. We could have exploited the conditions a bit more. But I think the morning session had a big impact on the game," he added.
Asked about an incident at lunch on third day, when Ishant Sharma and Suresh Raina, upset with food on offer, had left the stadium to get lunch, Dhoni calmly replied,"I don't really want to create a controversy, but the facilities here can certainly improve."
Dhoni also defended the ploy to use short ball against Mitchell Johnson, who scored 88 in team's first innings total of 508.
"I felt at that point with Mitchell coming, and he is someone who can bat, it was important to use a few bouncers.
We have got a few wickets by bouncers and we have bowlers now who can exploit the conditions. All the three bowlers can bowl at decent pace.
"Mitchell played quite a few shots and there were a lot of catches that were just falling short of fielders or just away. It didn't really go our way, he kept playing those shots, kept clearing fielders by some margin and we kept changing our plans.
"It's not like we will only bowl short, we tried almost all the plans. He scored 80-odd runs and he spent a quite a fair amount of time there. We tried each and every plan and at the end of all it what worked was the new ball," said the skipper.