India skipper MS Dhoni points to poor weather for defeat in the first Twenty20 international against Australia
India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni faced a Catch 22 situation at the toss in the first Twenty20 match against Australia here yesterday. Dhoni wanted to bat first on a wicket he thought would turn later, but also had to consider the showers which were predicted during the evening.
Oops: MS Dhoni gets hit by a ball during the Twenty20 match against
Australia at the ANZ Stadium yesterday. Pic/Getty Images
In the end, he decided to go with the decision to bowl first assuming the match would be affected by rain. Dhoni also based his decision to bowl on the events of the past ODI series in England in which all games were affected by rain.
"If you look back at what happened in England, we were in strong positions in all matches batting first, but the rain came and made it easier for the team batting second. I thought on the same lines in this match, but the rain didn't come. You can say in a way, it was bad luck."
A reachable target
At the interval, Dhoni still thought the target was reachable but was also surprised how much the ball gripped and turned. "I didn't expect the wicket to grip like it did so it was difficult to bat second. However, in saying that, I think if we had wickets in hand, we could have managed to chase the target down."
The skipper was also quick to defend his decision of playing two specialist spinners despite the rain forecast. "I was always going to play (leg-spinner) Rahul Sharma. If you look at his Indian Premier League performance, he has been very economical. I thought he bowled well today. Ashwin is our main spinner and he can bowl at the start and in the middle. Both were always going to play despite the wet conditions," said Dhoni.
Man of the match, Matthew Wade came to Dhoni's defence by saying, despite the weather conditions, the spinners were difficult to get away. "It was hard to execute big shots against the spinners and the pitch was holding up a little," said Wade. Australia captain George Bailey said he would have batted first had he won the toss.
From the toss dilemma, it appears that there are mental scars from the recent poor performances and the Indian team is not in a clean state of mind. Dhoni and the team would be hoping for clear skies as well as clear minds before the second Twenty20 in Melbourne tomorrow.