First, with the bat, when he scored an unbeaten 139. And then at the post-match press conference, where he blasted his non-performing bowlers as India lost the third ODI to Australia by four wickets at the Punjab Cricket Association Stadium in Mohali to go 1-2 down in the seven-match series.
Dhoni categorically said that bowlers at the international level “cannot be spoon-fed.”
“I think the last few overs were disappointing. It is an area of concern and it is getting worse. There was a bit of dew but not like in the last game. The individuals, will have to step up, they have to come up with their plans and back their strength,” he said after India lost the match despite being in a winning position at different stages of the encounter.
Dhoni’s comments were inevitably directed at his bowling department that has been consistently failing in the series. Pace spearhead Ishant Sharma gave away 30 runs in the 48th over on Saturday and that turned the game around.
“You don’t need to spoonfeed bowlers at the international level. You need to come up with your plan, focus on your strength and execute your plans,” added Dhoni, who felt his bowlers began well but lost the plot later. “We started well, Jadeja bowled really well in the middle overs. Also, we need more from the part-timers,” he said.
The India skipper called from a better show from his batsmen too. “I think we could have batted better, on a track like this. We were fortunate to get beyond 300, looked like we would get around 250,” said Dhoni, who played brilliantly to take India’s score to 303 for nine after the home side were reduced to 76 for four at one stage.