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Dhoni slams players after loss to New Zealand in fourth ODI

Last updated on: January 28, 2014 18:26 IST

Dhoni slams players after loss to New Zealand in fourth ODI

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India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni said it was the "same mistake" of losing wickets at crucial intervals which cost them the fourth One-dayer and handed New Zealand an unassailable 3-0 lead in the five-game ODI series, in Hamilton.

- Scorecard

"We committed the same mistakes when it comes to batting. We lost wickets at crucial time, which has been the case so far in this series," Dhoni said, after India lost the fourth ODI by seven wickets.

"But even then we were able to get close to 280-odd runs, which I thought was good enough provided we bowled well on this wicket but that was not the case," he added.

Dhoni was livid with his fast bowlers and said the pacers gave too much width and bowled short at the Seddon Park.

"Right from the start, we gave away too many boundaries. We gave too much width to the batsmen and the bowlers bowled quite short which meant that they could freely score off them. It meant that we didn't start off well," said a dejected Dhoni.

"The spinners bowled quite well and then the fast bowlers came back on and they again gave away runs freely, which meant that we weren't able to hang on to the pressure created by the spinners.

"It was a disappointing bowling performance from the fast bowlers. But the positive is that the spinners bowled really well," he added.


Image: MS Dhoni
Photographs: Anthony Au-Yeung/Getty Images

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'Were giving a boundary every over'

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Asked why he chose to take off the spinners after both Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin bowled well in their initial spells of five overs each, Dhoni replied: "Given the way how the fast bowlers bowled in the first ten overs, I wasn't sure they would be able to keep the pressure on later. So I personally thought that it's important to keep the spinners, especially Jadeja, and use them later, when the batsmen might have to go for the big shots.

"But the way the fast bowlers bowled in the middle overs it meant that they never really had to play those big shots. That was a crucial phase, where with the open fields we shouldn't have given away too many runs. But we were giving a boundary every over and we were not able to build any pressure," he said.


Image: Brendon McCullum hits one to boundary
Photographs: Phil Walter/Getty Images

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'We had to make these changes at some point'

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India made a couple of changes to their side ahead of this must-win game, dropping both Shikhar Dhawan and Suresh Raina. Virat Kohli was asked to open the innings, while Ajinkya Rahane batted at number three. Ambati Rayudu played his first ODI since the Zimbabwe trip in mid-2013 and Stuart Binny made his India debut.

"We had to make these changes at some point. Raina was getting good starts but he was not able to convert those starts. Sometimes if you can take the individual away for a few games, he can relax and think freely about his game and that's the reason why we rested both Shikhar (Dhawan) and Suresh Raina in this game," Dhoni opined.

"We had a chat with Virat, and he was quite confident about opening. It allowed us to play Rahane at number three and Rayudu at number four, which allowed us to maintain the strength of our team.

"Rahane came in as an opener but a few months ago, along with the selectors, we decided that he is a good middle order batsman and he bats well there. We have tried him as opener earlier and it didn't work, so we should keep trying him in the middle order," added India's skipper.


Image: Ambati Rayudu
Photographs: Phil Walter/Getty Images

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Bowling woes continue for India

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In the end, it was once again the bowling woes that hampered India in this series and Dhoni said the bowlers need to apply their mind and try to improvise.

"When it comes to talent, we definitely have bowlers who can do well. But at the same time they will have to start using their brains more and improvise themselves," he said.

"(Mohd.) Shami is someone who has been quite consistent, apart from this series. Bhuvneshwar Kumar has been off this series but he’s a good bowler. At the end of the day they need to push themselves because with rule changes it is going to be quite tough. But it hasn’t been rule changes hurting us in this series, it has been bad bowling," Dhoni said.


Image: Mohammad Shami celebrates after dismissing Martin Guptill
Photographs: Phil Walter/Getty Images

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