Dhoni blames batsmen for crushing defeat
Indian skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni squarely put the blame on his batsmen for the crushing 87-run defeat at the hands of Australia in a critical match at the SCG on Sunday.
"I don't need to explain (any futher). We have not done enough with the bat. We have to get them (the rivals) out below 200 to win games (it seems)," said Dhoni, after India all but crashed out of the Commonwealth Bank One-day series.
"We have a much better line-up. Since we are not in good form, it's the pressure on batsmen who are scoring runs (to stay put). The Nos 7, 8 or 9 batsmen are coming in by the 30th over. We were five wickets are down after 20 overs. We haven't done well consistently enough."
Dhoni feels there is still a realistic chance
Dhoni said he didn't believe in being harsh to individuals within the team and wanted a set batsman to make the most of his stay in the middle.
"We have been explaining what needs to be done. I am not a believer in pin-pointing individuals. On wickets with pace and bounce, you need to give more time to yourself. The batsmen who are set have to sweat it out because all of us are not in good form. Gautam (Gambhir) did so in a couple of games and we did really well."
Dhoni, who wasn't aware that India could still qualify for the finals -- provided India beats Sri Lanka with a bonus point in Hobart, feels there is still a realistic chance.
"It gives us another chance. It means you have to chase the opposition score in 40 overs which may be a very difficult task but at least we have a chance. It's also a realistic chance for a team which is going through a bad phase and has nothing to lose, you could just come out and express yourself and go for big strokes."
'It's been a real difficult series'
Often it's seen you then start connecting more than you start missing.
"With two successive whitewashes in England and Australia in Tests, Dhoni was candid enough to admit the ongoing tour has been worse on many counts. It's been a real difficult series, especially in Tests, where we were not competitive enough. In England, injuries bothered us. Now we have a stable dressing room, there were no injuries, most were fit. It's more disappointing series."
Asked about the positives, Dhoni mentioned impressive performances from Virat Kohli and Umesh Yadav.
"Umesh is find though the ODIs have been tough on him. He had a history of getting injured. Now he has played all series and not got injured. Virat has also been among runs."
One needs to back Sehwag, says Dhoni
Dhoni was adamant that Tendulkar and Gambhir were the right men to open the innings despite their failure to get going.
"Ideally, that's how they are supposed to bat. Sachin and Sehwag are the best men for the job. Gautam is someone who has plenty of experience at No 3. It's been tough for him."
"Sehwag plays in flamboyant manner but when he gets out, one thinks may be this is not the right way. But that's how Sehwag has got 8,000 runs in Tests and also 6,000 in One-dayers.Dhoni said that one needs to back Sehwag."
"You need to back him. Hopefully he would come back strong. The game he gets in, he takes the attack to opposition. Every international team now has an opener like that."
'Captaincy is an interesting responsibility'
With questions raised due to successive defeats, Dhoni was asked what is it that he finds exciting about captaincy.
"It's an interesting responsibility. I am trying to fulfill the potential we have got. There can be tough tours.What we have seen is that teams with purple patch also slump and then they come to a level where they could improve. It's a passing phase, we are not like Manchester United. It's challenge to be with seniors, groom youngsters, maintain a good dressing room atmosphere."
With players showing signs of fatigue, Dhoni was asked what it would take for players to voluntarily declaring they need a break from the game.
"What we do is to sit and discuss with the BCCI. The board has given an opportunity to players -- if you think you need rest, we are more than happy to give you rest, irrespective if it's important tournament or not. You don't want people to get injured."
"If you are out due to injury, it could take 3-4 months If you opt out at the right time, you could return fit and strong and even the injury which has not happened is taken care of."