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BCCI Staff in Mumbai 01 February 2014 - 07:45am IST

Batsmen got bogged down: Dhoni

Indian skipper blames lack of intent from batsmen to series loss

India were outplayed in most areas by New Zealand, who took home the ODI series 4-0. For MS Dhoni the factor that stood out was the difference between the Indian and Kiwi batsmen in building the innings in the middie-overs.

"More often than not we were chasing big scores. You know you can't rely on a couple of batsmen," Dhoni said. "What we have seen is that apart from one game, most of the times we have been behind, we have only been doing the catching-up work. And the run-rate goes too high. The last 25 overs, you can't really look to chase eight or nine an over. That was a setback to some extent."

India’s batting troubles began right at the top with the openers failing to capitalize on their starts after having taken significant time to get in. The lack of runs from the middle-order batsmen put too much pressure on Virat Kohli, Dhoni said over-caution did his batsmen in.

"At times people start to think too much. Yes they bowled really well. But at the same time we need to back ourselves to play the shots or the kind of cricket that we are known to play. To some extent we got bogged down. We didn't try a different thing. You may lose a few games but it's also important to see the kind of attitude that you bring into the game and try to play aggressive cricket. If you get out, you get out. At the end of the day if you lose too many wickets you are just hoping to save wickets. It has to be a real mix. It's not like this is the formula that will solve the problem.

"What is important is to have a positive intent right from the start and positive intent doesn't always mean looking for the big shots. Positive intention when it comes to defending a ball or looking for a single. So that's a change that we'll have to do."

Explaining further, the Indian captain compared his middle-order performance to that of the hosts.

"The main difference in the two sides was the middle order batting. They batted really well. They rotated the strike well. Kept wickets in hand and last few (overs) they went for the big shots. That has been the case throughout. If it wasn't Ross, Guptill played a brilliant innings. If it was not Kane, then it was somebody else.

"It was the middle overs that were very crucial and that's where they really dominated. That's the time when we are losing wickets and we are only doing the catching up,” Dhoni rued.