When India were 277 for the loss of just one wicket in the 38th over, it all looked as if India would chase down the target with absolute ease. Centurions Shikhar Dhawan and Virat Kohli were going strong but it required just one breakthrough to change the course of the game and handover a win on Australia’s platter. Dhawan was the first to depart and then it was India captain MS Dhoni who walked in at number four who was out for a duck. Kohli did try to steady the chase but he too followed Dhoni a run later. After that it was hara-kiri and India were bundled out for 323 falling short of the target by 26 runs. Dhoni took the onus of the loss upon himself and said he should have ideally finished the game for his side. “I think it was my wicket where it all went wrong,” he said. “If you see specifically, that’s what my role is in the team – to make sure we finish off the game well from that kind of position. So I would say my wicket really was the turning point. At that point of time, we lost quite a few wickets, but I think it was my wicket that made the difference. After we lost those two-three wickets, the game completely turned, but we should have won today's game.”
When asked if he was disappointed with the shot making from his young middle-order, Dhoni defended his young crop and said, “What you have to realise is, that’s what pressure does to you. A few of them haven’t played a lot of international cricket. At times it seems when you are batting in the middle that playing the big shot is the right thing to do, but slowly, with more games under your belt, you realise that is the time you have to carry on and build some kind of partnership.
Elaborating further on the need to groom young talent, he said, “Everyone's talent is different. You have to groom players. I have said this before; we are very used to getting complete cricketers. We don't want to groom anyone. We go by the logic - 'If this guy's not good, let's get rid of him and if that guy is not good, get rid of him too.' When these players go out and return to the team, the pressure on them will be greater. It's not easy for you to go in, you need 40 runs, and you swing your bat and hit fours and sixes. Whenever you play a big shot there's a chance that you may get out. You have to take that into account.”
With a loss at Canberra, India are now 0-4 down in the series. There have been instances in the series wherein India have managed to lose out on the game despite being in a position of winning. The 3rd ODI at the MCG looked well in India’s control but they failed to capitalise on crucial moments. Such was the case in the 4th ODI too but Dhoni said it was important to put the losses behind and move forward looking at the positives. “We batted really well tonight. It also gave a glimpse of what you may see in the T20Is, a lot of flamboyant cricket. At the same time you may say, yes we lost, are we disappointed? We are definitely disappointed, but still, you want to take the positives. And the positive is that if we could have batted better than we did after I lost my wicket, this game could have gotten over in 46th or 47th over. You look at it that way. You don't want to sink into something negative. You always want to get a lot of positives. And I feel there were lot of positives in today's game, especially in the batting department. Rohit Sharma’s knock that gave a push to the innings at the beginning and the next partnership between Virat and Shikhar was outstanding. It gave a lot of glimpse as to what may happen in the coming T20Is.”