'We wouldn't have minded a 20-over game with the start we had'
Anything close to the 300-run mark is always tough to chase down, but India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni says he backed his batsmen to overhaul the 296-run target set by Australia in the fourth ODI, in Ranchi, which was called off due to rain.
Dhoni said all that his side would have needed was a good start to chase down the target after Australia put up 295 for eight after being asked to bat at the JSCA stadium.
"It depended on the first 15 overs, on the start we get. If we didn't lose too many wickets the pitch would have become better to bat on," he said, after the match was washed out.
India were 27 for no loss in 4.1 overs when the heavens opened up for the second time during the match.
The match was stopped at 6.18 pm because of light drizzle, which later intensified, making the ground unplayable. Play was called off after the umpires found the ground was too water-logged to continue proceedings.
"The weather is not in our control. To some extent, you are a bit disappointed, but whatever result it was we have to accept it. We wouldn't have minded a 20-over game with the start we had," Dhoni said.
Image: MS Dhoni
'Shami bowls quicker than you think and is deceptive'
The India skipper was effusive in praise of fast bowler Mohammed Shami (3-42), who impressed with his deceptive bowling.
"He (Shami) is deceptive. He bowls quicker than you think. What was important was he bowled full and the wickets he got; he was hitting the bails," Dhoni said.
"In the death, he was getting the yorkers in pretty consistently. I knew they will come back strong."
India's fielding was not up to the mark; as many as six catches were dropped, but Dhoni backed his butterfingered fielders to come back strongly in the next match.
"At times it happens; at some of the stadiums it is difficult to sight the ball," he said.
Image: Mohammad Shami
'We fancied our chances, with the pitch providing a bit of seam'
Australia captain George Bailey, who top-scored for his team with a 94-ball 98, also expressed disappointment with the wash-out.
"It could have been a reasonably good game of cricket. We snuck away with the bat, thanks to Glenn Maxwell's innings. There was a little bit of swing and seam and he assessed the conditions well, especially considering he had to bat longer than he is normally used to," he said.
With a lively pitch on offer, Bailey said he backed his side to win the match.
"We fancied our chances, with the pitch providing a bit of seam and pace and Mitch (Mitchell Johnson) was getting it to go," he said.
"But it's obviously important to be in the lead in any series and, hopefully, we'll get to Cuttack and get a good game in and get a win."
Image: George Bailey