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Rediff.com  » Cricket » Dhoni defends batsmen despite twin failures at MCG

Dhoni defends batsmen despite twin failures at MCG

December 29, 2011 12:56 IST

India's formidable batting line-up crumbled twice but skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni said he is not worried, instead he chose to give credit to Australian fast bowlers for eking out the 122-run win in the first Test in Melbourne, on Thursday.

Indian bowlers did well to restrict the hosts to 240 in the second innings but the visitors put up a pathetic show while chasing 292 and were all bowled out for a paltry 169 to concede a 1-0 lead in the four-match series.

Asked if he is worried about his batsmen, Dhoni said, "Not really. They are very experienced batsmen. You have to give credit to Australia bowlers for the way they bowled. They kept a nagging line outside the off-stump and that's why they got us."

Dhoni also lauded Australia's lower-order batsmen for making significant contributions to their total in both the innings.

"The bowlers brought us back in to the game. We were short by 50-odd runs in the first innings. Their lower-order scored some runs, if we had got them earlier, we would have had 50-60 runs less to chase," he said.

Dhoni also seemed optimistic about making a comeback in the series when the second Test starts in Sydney from January 3.

James Pattinson"We are known to be tentative starters, I think in the next game we will be slightly better."

Victorious Australia captain Michael Clarke acknowledged the contribution made by his pace trio, experienced duo of Mike Hussey and Ricky Ponting and the lower-order batsmen.

"Our tail were outstanding with their batting, and we have to give full credit to the bowlers. You always want to have plans against whatever team you play and we were able to execute the plans.

"Credit has to go to Ponting and Hussey as well. India are a fantastic team. It is great to have them here in Australia. We know they'll come hard at us in Sydney," Clarke said.

Australia paceman James Pattinson was adjudged man-of-the-match for taking six wickets in the match, including four in India's second innings.

"It's a pretty surreal feeling right now. We were coming off a bit of pressure after losing in Hobart to New Zealand. It is fantastic to win here at the MCG. Victorian supporters are the best in the business. (Peter) Siddle is fantastic, he keeps everyone in the side going," Pattinson said.

Meanwhile, former India captain Sourav Ganguly, who is in Australia as a television commentator, said that he is concerned by India's five consecutive defeats abroad.

"I am a little concerned that India has now lost five consecutive Tests abroad. They lost four in England and now they have lost here. It is something that needs to be looked into and I am sure the team management will analyze what went wrong here," he said after the match.

 

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