Dhoni blames batsmen for loss to England

Perth, Jan 30 (IANS) Indian cricket captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni blamed the batsmen for Friday’s loss against England in the virtual semi-final of the tri-series here.

England booked a berth in the final of the One-Day International (ODI) series against Australia, courtesy a three-wicket win over India at the WACA.
“When we started batting, I thought we did decent with the new ball and a bit more runs initially would have helped. Good bowling and poor selection of shots led to the low score and 40-50 more runs would have helped,” Dhoni said.
Another dismal batting performance by India saw them being bowled out for 200 in 48.1 overs. Opener Ajinkya Rahane was the only standout performer, scoring 73 off 101 balls. His and Shikhar Dhawan’s opening wicket partnership of 83 runs was the lone bright spot in an otherwise dreadful batting performance.
“I don’t think the wicket played a factor but the English bowlers extract more from these conditions. We have to look at our attack keeping in mind the balance of the side,” he said.
The 34-year-old also defended the decision to play both the left-arm spinners — Ravindra Jadeja and Axar Patel, saying they add value to the side with the bat.
“Two spinners suit us because (Ravichandran) Ashwin and Jadeja, and Ashwin and Axar can bat a bit while three seamers and a spinner weakens our batting. Playing an extra seamer weakens the batting and even leads to slow over rate,” the 2011 World Cup winning skipper pointed out.
However, Dhoni added the team will be ready to face Pakistan in their World Cup opener Feb 15 at the Adelaide Oval.
“We will be ready for the Pakistan match and the next few days will be helpful to switch off for some time and freshen up. Test series trains you a lot and we need to get our confidence back in the ODIs,” concluded Dhoni.