India skipper blames himself for fourth ODI loss against Australia, but derives positives from the match
Canberra: A dejected Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni took the blame for the team's astonishing 25-run defeat against Australia yesterday but surprisingly tried to pick "positives" from the debacle in which the last nine wickets fell for a mere 46 runs.
Chasing a substantial 349 for their first win in the series, the visitors were given a great start by Rohit Sharma, who hit a breezy 41 off 25 balls before Dhawan and Kohli set up a rollicking partnership of 212 runs for the second wicket off 177 balls to take the team to 277 without any further loss when Dhawan fell to mark a long procession of Indian batsman returning to the pavilion.
Kohli hit 106 off only 92 balls for his second successive century in the series before a soft dismissal and then Dhoni (0) lasted only three balls to dash India's hopes with another frontline batsman Ajinkya Rahane injured although he did come into bat making only two runs.
"It was my wicket (the turning point of the match) because that is my role in the team to make sure that we finish off the game from that position. We lost quite a few wickets there but mainly it was my wicket, according to role and responsibility in the side," Dhoni owned up the responsibility after India snatched defeat from jaws of victory. But the most surprising aspect was skipper trying to harp on the positives.
"We are definitely disappointed, but you want to take the positives. 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. And I feel there were a lot of positives in today's game, especially in the batting department," skipper said in defence of his team.
Australia's Kane Richardson (second from right) celebrates the fall of an India wicket yesterday. Pic:AP/PTI
"It all depends on how you want to take it. After the first three losses, people were saying it was difficult to come back, but in this game we came back really well. It also gave a glimpse of what you see in the T20s, a lot of flamboyant cricket," he said.
He admitted that Rahane's webbing injury was a factor: "Yes, Rahane's injury was also a factor. He had a few stitches and he had taken local anesthesia, so we had to wait and push him down the order until he got some kind of feeling back in his hand," said the skipper.
Some of the youngsters like Rishi Dhawan, Gurkeerat Singh Mann were out playing poor shots but Dhoni defended the duo. "That's what pressure does to you. A few of them haven't played a lot of international cricket."