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MS Dhoni flays Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma

Skipper wants openers to stay longer at the crease after India lose second ODI to New Zealand

Hamilton: While the bowlers have shouldered most of the blame for India’s ordinary performances in the last five one-dayers, both in South Africa and New Zealand, the performance of the openers too has come under the microscope with Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma struggling to get into the groove.

(Inset) MS Dhoni and Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma (pictured in Hamilton yesterday) have been struggling to get their act together in New Zealand. Pic/AFP
(Inset) MS Dhoni and Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma (pictured in Hamilton yesterday) have been struggling to get their act together in New Zealand. Pic/AFP

And Indian skipper MS Dhoni has called upon them to take greater responsibility so that the team can put up a better show in the remaining three games of the series.

“When it comes to our openers, they fought out the first 10 overs but I felt that it was very important they could have carried on for another 10-15 overs so that from the 22nd or 25th over onwards, we should have started to hit out, but it does not always go according to plan,” Dhoni said after India slumped to its second consecutive defeat in the series to lose its numero uno status to Australia.

India made a valiant effort to overhaul the revised target of 297 in 42 overs as per the D/L method but failed to cross the finishing line scoring 277 for nine in 41.3 overs. The Duckworth-Lewis par score in 41.3 overs was 293.

Losing the plot
India were again done in by lack of big partnerships which has been their bane of late. “The last game I got out, and this game Virat got out, so it was important to keep continuing to build a partnership as it is hard for the players coming in after us to play their strokes freely,” Dhoni said.

Dhoni praised New Zealand bowlers for their impressive show and said the Kiwi pacers pulled India back every time the hosts looked to chase down the target.

“When the New Zealand fast bowlers bowled the slower ones, it was hard to get them away and play the big strokes. Somebody like Virat who is in tremendous form also found it difficult to consistently hit (the ball).

“It was quite difficult to hit them away consistently, and in the end we couldn’t get close to the 290 we needed. I think overall the wicket changed to some extent and we were not able to score 290,” he said. Even though they leaked runs for the second consecutive match, Dhoni backed his bowlers.

He reserved his special praise for medium pacer Mohammed Shami. “The fast bowlers did well for us. Bhuvneshwar Kumar was good at the death, while Shami has been performing quite consistently.”

Scorecard

New Zealand
M Guptill c Shami b Raina.........44
J Ryder C Dhoni b Shami...........20
K Williamson st Dhoni
b Jadeja...............................................77
R Taylor c Dhoni b Shami...........57
C Anderson c Dhawan
b I Sharma.........................................44
B McCullum c & b Shami..............0
L Ronchi not out.............................18
N McCullum b B Kumar..................1
K Mills not out...................................2
Extras (lb1, w7)................................8
Total (7 wickets; 42 overs)......271 Fall of wickets 1-25, 2-114, 3-174, 4-248, 5-250, 6-251, 7-252
Bowling
Bhuvneshwar Kumar 7-1-43-1
Mohammed Shami 7-0-55-3
Ishant Sharma 6-0-46-1
Ravindra Jadeja 8-0-46-1
Virat Kohli 2-0-12-0
Ravichandran Ashwin 8-0-50-0
Suresh Raina 4-0-18-1

India
S Dhawan b Southee....................12
R Sharma c Ronchi b Southee 20
V Kohli c sub b Southee..............78
A Rahane c Ronchi
b McClenaghan................................36
MS Dhoni c Williamson
b Anderson........................................56
S Raina c Southee b Mills..........35
R Jadeja b Anderson....................12
R Ashwin c Guptill b Southee.....5
B Kumar c N McCullum
b Anderson..........................................11
M Shami not out................................1
I Sharma not out..............................1
Extras (lb3, w7).............................10
Total (9 wickets, 41.3 overs) 277
Fall of wickets 1-22, 2-37, 3-127, 4-164, 5-226, 6-257, 7-259, 8-265, 9-275
Bowling
Kyle Mills 9-1-50-1
Mitchell McClenaghan 8-1-45-1
Tim Southee 9-0-72-4
Nathan McCullum 8-0-40-0
Corey Anderson 7.3-0-67-3

Result: New Zealand won by 15 runs (D/L method) 

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