Seniors need to be more responsible: Dhoni
When the Indian bowlers took all Pakistani wickets for 109 runs after letting them score 141 without loss, India looked set to level the series on the basis of their batting strength. However, the batsmen let the team down again and India lost the second ODI by 85 runs, handing the three-match series to Pakistan with a game to spare.
While bowling is known to be India’s weakness, skipper MS Dhoni felt it’s the batsmen who misfired during this series.
“I thought it was a very good effort by the bowlers to restrict them to 250, after the start they got. In India if you keep the opposition to 250 bowling first, it’s a very good effort,” Dhoni said, ruing the lack of partnerships by the top and middle-order batsmen.
“It was our batting that was disappointing. What hurt us was losing quick wickets. We needed 180-odd runs in 30 overs, and if we had wickets in hand, we’d have had very good chance of scoring them.
“When a couple of quick wickets fall, you need someone to soak in the pressure so that the lower middle order doesn’t have to do the consolidating job. We have seen with this team in the past that with wickets in hand we can get a lot of runs in the last 10 overs,” the Indian captain said.
Dhoni stressed on the senior batsmen taking up the onus of guiding the team’s innings and also mentoring younger batsmen.
“When you’re going through a transitional period like we are, you want your experienced players to perform so that the youngsters can be groomed under them,” he said.
“If the seniors aren’t performing, the pressure mounts on the juniors. It is very important for us that the experienced guys take up the responsibility to perform on the field as well as help the youngsters to form a game plan.”
Losing matches with such alarming regularity is bound to frustrate the strongest of men. But Dhoni said that it’s during these times that equanimity is most needed in the dressing room.
“As the captain you shouldn’t be expressing yourself too much because everyone in the team is very emotional at that time. Moments like these aren’t tackled when you’re high on emotions. You need to be very calm and think about what can be done to change this,” he explained.
Dhoni also refrained from using critical words for his non-performing teammates.
“When the questions are asked, I cannot be pointing out the mistakes of the individual players. We’re a team and I have to stand by my players at all times,” the captain declared.