Auckland: India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni was left with “mixed emotions” after his side’s dramatic 40-run defeat in the first Test against New Zealand at Eden Park.
Game changer: New Zealand’s Tim Southee (left) celebrates dismissing Rohit Sharma at Eden Park yesterday. PIC/Getty Images
The loss will especially rankle considering at one point India needed just 185 runs to win with eight wickets in hand.
Dhoni believed that losing the wickets of Ajinkya Rahane and Rohit Sharma off the second new ball was a decisive factor in the loss.
“I have mixed emotions about this Test. Close to the 85th over, we lost a few wickets and we had a tough decision (Rahane) at the same time, which meant we were short of 30-35 runs and that was the crucial phase.
“The second new ball would have moved for maybe five or six overs maximum. That was the period when if we would have not given our wickets away, we would have got those 40 runs. Also, we had a bad umpiring decision at the same time. So there were quite a few things that did not go our way,” Dhoni told reporters at his post-match press conference yesterday.
The skipper added that his side had displayed on of its best bowling performance in the second innings.
“In the first innings, we didn’t bowl well. The second innings was one of the best bowling performances we have had in the last two-three years especially on a wicket where there was not much assistance.
“In the second innings, the bowlers really brought us back into the game, and gave us something where we could have said, ‘Yes, this is a big target, but we can look to chase it down,’” he said.
Need to capitalise
While the loss marks India’s tenth overseas defeat in 11 games, Dhoni sought to look at the positives from the loss.
“Tight games like these give you the experience of three-four Test matches. You learn about the need to break the target down session by session.
“Hopefully, there will be plenty of players in our dressing room who must have learned a lot out of it.
“We have been in good positions in this series, in the ODIs also, but we have not been able to capitalise on them.
Maybe we are still learning and in the second Test we will capitalise if we get into similar situations,” he added.