Too many loose deliveries: Dhoni
Melbourne, Feb 5: Things didn’t go according to plan for the visitors as they lost the rain shortened 32-overs-a-side tri-series opener to the hosts by 65 runs at the MCG. The ICC World Cup Champions now meet the WC runners-up Sri Lanka at Perth. India will hope their batting unit will pick themselves up in the next match.
Excerpts from MS Dhoni’s post-match press interaction:
On whether the players had any niggles
No, it’s not about injury. Few players have a few niggles and we also want to make Rohit [Sharma] play. Experienced players can come into the side and go out of the side and play with the kind of experience they have, but for Rohit it may be tough in the sense [that if] he doesn’t get a good [innings in] before the latter half of the series, all a of sudden you may find him playing a game without much match practice under him. Overall we have to look at the strength of the side. This is a fairly long series – we play eight games before going into the finals – so that was the main reason.
On the loss against Australia
Every game is important and what you also need to see is the overall strength [of the side]. Every loss is disappointing but at the end of the day you have to play good cricket and only then you can win games. […] There are quite a few good things [that worked]; we started off well. Before the rain we were bowling really well. There are areas that we need to work on. Deliveries were too loose […] Most of them were capitalised upon.
On whether the energy had gone down after the rain break
The energy was there. What happened is that most of the balls went to fielders who are on the slower side. Not bad but on the slower side. The placement was good […] The batsmen could put pressure on the fielders and take twos […] You have to back it up with good bowling. It’s like helping each other […]
On Virender Sehwag
All these small things do happen in cricket. It’s not like [these are] major injuries, but if somebody can be rested and the overall strength remains the same, then it’s a good decision.
On Zaheer Khan
Zak has a bit of problem, that’s the reason he didn’t play this game. He has a bit of a problem with his knee. Hopefully he will be fit for the next game.
On the match
In this game we were two bowlers short in the sense that two bowlers went for a lot of runs. You bowl loose deliveries but there are certain deliveries that are so loose that they will always go for a boundary or a six […] Though the field was really big, the execution was not really great. That was the main reason why they were able to score 200-odd runs. But [Matthew] Wade and both the Hussey brothers [Michael and David] batted really well throughout.
On whether the amount of runs conceded was a worry
Yes, it is. If [Ravindra] Jadeja doesn’t bowl well, the stability of the side gets affected. He is someone who can do that job [since] we need a batsman to bat at No. 7 also. And at the end of the day you want to restrict the opponents; you don’t want them to score too many runs thinking that your batting line-up will score the amount of runs needed. For overall strength you have to bowl well and look to chase down the number of runs, especially if you have decided to chase.
On the fielding
[…] You can put in a lot of effort in the fielding but once it goes between deep midwicket and long-on where there is no fielder, you can try your best but you can’t really stop it. Most of the boundaries that were scored went to the vacant areas so there wasn’t much that the fielders could have done. For a few of the fielders there was pressure from the batsmen and on big fields that really happens. If you put the ball in the right areas, you may be the best fielder in the world but you still can be taken on and the batsman will get those doubles. It was not like we fielded badly.
On whether they were expecting rain
We were expecting rain but not to the extent that it happened. The forecast said 2mm to 4mm which means we could have lost a maximum of six overs a side to rain. But once we lost 18 overs it did affect our gameplan; all of a sudden I was left with only three overs from the fast bowlers […] In cricket, as in the weather, it doesn’t always go your way but I think we need to execute [our plans] better than what we did. We are not blaming the bowlers. We still need to bat well because there was a time when a decent partnership was on. Once you come to the consolidating period, in this game from the 10th to the 20th over, if you don’t lose wickets at that point of time then it’s an ideal set-up to chase a score over 200 runs.
On whether the rain early on influenced his decision to bowl first
That was at the back of our minds. We saw that the game gets better, the wicket gets a bit easier, and in a 50-over game, ideally you want to set up well. We have got the batsmen who can do well. We thought there might be a bit of dew. Playing with three spinners, it was good that we bowled first.
On taking on Sri Lanka
The last tri-series we played over here was against Sri Lanka. They are good opponents. Somehow they always get the all-rounders that are needed to balance the side […]. It will be an interesting contest.