Top-order fell short: Dhoni
Sydney, Feb 2: After India lost the first T20I to Australia despite a late onslaught by MS Dhoni, the India skipper rued his decision to bowl first adding that the result would have been different had the top-order stayed longer at the crease. He also appreciated the crowd support at the first of the two T20Is in the post-match media interaction.
On the loss
A loss is a loss; it’s very difficult to examine and say how big the loss is. The weather played a big part in it. […] This was the first toss [that] I won over here and with the rain forecast we thought we would look to chase. [We thought even] if the wicket didn’t get better, it would remain the same. 172-odd runs I thought was a good score [to chase] if the wicket remained the same. In between, the four or five overs we bowled, two from [Suresh] Raina and two from Vinay [Kumar], really brought us back into the game […] We got off to a good start [and] it didn’t rain […] All of a sudden it started to turn and grip and the odd ball was bouncing more than the normal deliveries. It was difficult. If the top-order had stayed longer and the new batsmen coming in would have played their shots with someone at the other end, the result could have been different. We struggled a lot yet we were able to score 140-145-odd runs which means a bit more [effort] and the result could have been different.
On whether he would have opted to bat if the weather forecast had been different
We were looking to bat first but with the rain forecast and the [lessons] from England, we thought it was better off to chase because the wicket gets better to bat on.
On the bowling combination
At that point of time what you think is how you are supposed to go through the adversities that come your way. The pick was Rahul [Sharma] because he has really done well in the IPL. See his bowling analysis; he has done the job that he was supposed to do and he was the one we picked. As far as the decision of playing a 3-2 [combination] is concerned, I thought all the spinners did really well. [Ravindra] Jadeja was a bit expensive but in the normal scenario we always play him because he gives us that balance when needed. The part-timers [also] contribute; Raina bowled two very good overs but was expensive in the third one. Overall it went our way because in between we were able to pull the game back.
On Virender Sehwag
I don’t know the technical aspect; the thing I know is that he is getting out. We all know he is someone who can be really dangerous. [David] Warner is as dangerous as him, if you compare the two. He has not scored fluently. In a couple of innings he got off to a good start but he is someone who can really damage the opposition bowling. If he gets going, he is very difficult to control by either the fast bowlers or the spinners.
On the crowd support
It is always good to play in front of your fans but for me what is of utmost importance is that people are coming to the stadium. It doesn’t matter whether they are supporting us or the Australian side; it is always a pleasure playing in front of 50,000-odd people. This was a very good game when it comes to that; people came in to support good cricket and I think the distribution of the Aussie and the Indian fans was pretty even […] It’s good to have them on the field […] I am hoping that it will happen for most of the games when India and Australia are playing. Maybe it will go down a bit when India and Sri Lanka are playing.
On hitting the ball cleanly himself
It was important because on this particular wicket the ball was not really coming on to the bat. It was very important to spend some time initially and then look to play the big shots. Most of our batsmen who came in and looked to play the big shots were not really successful. It’s a good lesson for all of them and also it is important that once you get off to a good start at the top of the order, you stay till the end.
On his briefing to the team before the next match at the MCG
We need to tell them what went wrong in this particular game. In the two innings the wicket behaved completely differently but it’s a good learning experience, as I said. It may happen in some other T20 or ODI game that the wicket starts to slow down and we need someone to stay on at one end and let the other batsman who comes in to play some big strokes […]
On the youngsters in the Indian side
A big positive. This is a side that really fields well. There was just one mistake when the ball [slipped away] from Virat Kohli but apart from that, this is a brilliant fielding side. […] There’s plenty of energy on the field, [boys] cheering each other up […]. Overall, a very good atmosphere.