MS Dhoni blames his pacemen for series loss
After dropping two of his frontline batsmen, India captain MS Dhoni is fast losing patience with his pacemen as the world champions chase a consolation win over New Zealand in Wellington.
Dhoni felt his quick bowlers Mohammed Shami, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and the speedy Varun Aaron handed the Hamilton run chase to New Zealand who reached 280 with 11 balls and seven wickets to spare. It left India 3-0 down going to game five tomorrow, and their body language telling a sad story late in the match.
Spin duo Ravi Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja stemmed the flow early and found some menacing turn, but the pacemen were handled comfortably by centurion Ross Taylor whose 15 fours were largely to cut shots.
"It was a wicket where you would like the bowlers to hit the back of length mark close to the off-stump area but right from the start we gave away too many boundaries," Dhoni said.
"We gave too much width to the batsmen and the balls were quite short, which meant they could freely score off them. After the 10th over the spinners bowled quite well and then when we again asked the fast bowlers to come back and bowl, they gave away the runs freely."
India's pace attack has been a source of angst this past year, with a host of contenders getting their chance. Senior man Ishant Sharma was dropped after game two of this series, while Mohammed Shami proved a handy find but has gone at worse than seven an over for the past three matches. They will be bolstered by veteran left-armer Zaheer Khan for the two-test series.
"When it comes to the talent part, we definitely have bowlers who can bowl well. But at the same time they will have to start using their brains more and improvise themselves what needs to be done. This is one area where we lack when it comes to the fast bowling department," Dhoni said.
Dhoni defended the decision to drop test opener Shikhar Dhawan after scores of 32, 12 and 28, and 189-game veteran Suresh Raina. It led to their best batsman Virat Kohli being elevated to open instead of Ajinkya Rahane who is more accustomed to the role.
"At some point we had to make this change. Raina was getting good starts but he was not able to convert. Sometimes if you take the individual away for a few games he can relax and think freely about his game and that was the reason why I rested both Shikhar and Suresh in this game.
"But we committed the same mistakes again. We lost wickets at crucial times and that has been the case in the series so far."
The Dominion Post