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Dhoni blames 'unrest in dressing room' for India's batting collapse

Source: PTI
December 20, 2014 13:25 IST
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Mahendra Singh Dhoni (left) with Ravi Shastri. Photograph: Michael Dodge/Getty Images

All is not well in the Indian dressing room right now with captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni revealing that there was some 'unrest' resulting from 'lack of communication' after Shikhar Dhawan picked up an injury in the nets before the start of fourth day's play in the second Test in Brisbane, on Saturday.

- Johnson, Smith lift Australia to victory in Brisbane

India lost the match by four wickets after being bowled out for a mere 224 in their second innings which left a paltry target of 128 for Australia to chase, which they achieved in 23.1 overs in the post-tea session.

The drama inside the dressing room was triggered by overnight unbeaten batsman Shikhar Dhawan injuring his elbow during a practice session but revealing the extent of discomfort shortly before the start of play on Day 4.

- Scorecard

The Indians had to send Virat Kohli ahead of him but the batsman was informed of the change less than seven minutes before the visitors took the field.

"The first session today was a big debacle for us. There was a lack of communication in our dressing room over whether Shikhar will go into bat or Virat. We did not handle that situation well," Dhoni said at the post-match presentation.

"We were having a bat at the nets, the wickets were not very good and he (Shikhar) got hit. He didn't react too badly at that time so we thought he was fine to bat. But by the time he came in, he was in a lot of pain and unable to bat. We were only able to give Virat five to seven minutes to prepare and that created some unrest in the dressing room," he revealed.

Mitchell Johnson celebrates dismissing Virat Kohli. Photograph: Cameron Spencer/Getty Images

At a loss of words to explain his team's shambolic performance, given that it lost the match with more than a day to spare, Dhoni praised the opposition.

"I think Mitchell (Johnson) batted really well. Once you get close to the new ball, the ball goes soft and the bowlers get tired. He played his shots and he was a little lucky too. Nothing went to the fielders and he was able to score. It was one of those days when nothing went right for us," Dhoni said about the third day's play during which Johnson played a key role for Australia with an 88-run knock.

Despite back-to-back losses which gave Australia an unassailable 2-0 lead in the four-match series, Dhoni said he is happy with the team's performance.

- Images from Day 4 of Brisbane Test

"I'm pretty happy with how we have played. We have shortcomings but I'm happy how the bowlers have shaped up. We have tried both five bowlers and an extra batsman, but neither has really grabbed the opportunity. But they are a talented side and they have self-belief," he said.

His Australian counterpart, Steve Smith, who was also named man of the match for scoring a hundred on his debut as captain, was elated with the result, calling it "extremely satisfying".

"The boys played some very good cricket the last four days and it's very satisfying to come out with a win. First day was very tough, the boys were dropping like flies. Credit to how they came out and bowled on the second morning. The first innings runs are crucial here and getting a lead of 90 was handy," he said.

Smith lavished praise on pacer Josh Hazlewood, who took a five-wicket haul on debut in the first innings.

"Josh Hazlewood is an outstanding bowler and he's started extremely well for Australia and Mitchell Johnson, Mr. Reliable, as always," he said.

In a lighter vein, Smith pointed out that it was not such a bright idea for the Indians to have sledged Johnson.

"I don't think it was advisable and that partnership really set the game up for us. It's always tough playing against India, they've played some extremely good cricket and we just won the important moments," he said.

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