101 runs in the last 10 overs gave Australia a huge advantage, reckons skipper Dhoni after 110-run loss in Brisbane
Captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni attributed his side's poor bowling in the last 10 overs for India's hefty 110-run loss to Australia in the CB Series at the Gabba here yesterday. "If you have a look, we gave away 100 runs in the last 10 overs and that made a difference," said Dhoni after the carnage at a venue where India were unbeaten since 2000. It was at this ground where India, under his leadership, claimed their first one-day triangular triumph on Australian soil in 2007-08.
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Australia amassed 288 for five before a Ben Hilfenhaus-led bowling performance caused India to be bowled out for 178. Pacer Hilfenhaus, who last played ODI cricket in 2009, claimed 5 for 33. One of the reasons Australia managed to smash runs in the last 10 overs was because India's best bowler, Zaheer Khan had already completed his quota. Dhoni defended his decision to bowl Zaheer by the end of 40th over by stating that the bowler was suffering from cramps. "I had to bowl Zak (Zaheer's nickname) because he was suffering from cramps and so was Vinay Kumar," said Dhoni.
His view raised questions of his team's fitness, but he defended his players by bringing up the extremely humid conditions and the long boundaries that added to the exhaustion: "The grounds are larger and when the ball races to the boundary, there is are no ball boys to toss it back to you. Plus, there is no breeze."
Maybe, the long tour is taking its toll on some players. It certainly did in the final 10 overs yesterday when Australia gained the upper hand. Big defeat notwithstanding, Dhoni believed there is no need for dramatic changes. "No need to make many changes. That will show we are panicking and that is not the case," he said.