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Pacers could have done slightly better: Dhoni

Source: PTI
Last updated on: March 26, 2015 18:38 IST
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Mahendra Singh Dhoni walks back to the pavilion at the end of Australia's innings in the World Cup semi-final at the SCG. Photograph: Vipin Pawar/Solaris Images

Captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni made no excuses for India's 95-run loss to Australia in the World Cup semi-finals, but said the fast bowlers could have done "slightly better" and Shikhar Dhawan should not have attempted a big shot when the team was going smoothly.

- Scorecard

India's 11-match winning streak came to a grinding halt as the Men in Blue faltered in their 329-run chase and were bundled out for 233 in 46.5 overs.

Electing to bat, Australia rode on Steven Smith's 93-ball 105 to post 328 for seven in 50 overs and Dhoni felt his pacers could have bowled better.

"They played very good cricket; over 300 is always a difficult score. I felt it was just over par. They could have had 350.

"We came back quite well but I felt we still could have bowled better. The spinners' performance was good, but I feel the fast bowlers could have done slightly better," said Dhoni, at the post-match presentation.

Dhoni, Dhawan waged lone battle

Australia's Mitchell Starc (right) celebrates after India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni is run-out by Glenn Maxwell during the World Cup semi-final in Sydney. Photograph: Matt King/Getty Images

Dhoni's run-a-ball 65 stood tall amid a disappointing batting show. He waged a lone battle to take India past the 200-run mark and make a match of it despite the steep asking rate.

Shikhar Dhawan (45) and Rohit Sharma (34) started off well with a 76-run opening stand and Ajinkya Rahane contributed with a patient 44 in the middle overs. The Australian bowlers kept getting wickets and kept India's asking-rate mounting.

- Prem Panicker: At the end, you felt for Dhoni

Dhoni rued Dhawan's dismissal.

"We started okay but they bowled well, they got the reverse swing going. We were happy with where we were at the start of the tournament. We got off to a very good start. Shikhar's dismissal was slightly on the softer side, at a time when we could have had the bowling under pressure. Didn't really need to play a big shot. But you get pressure chasing 300-plus; makes you do things you don't want to do," he said.

"There was too much (for me to do). Our lower order can't contribute too much in these conditions. Most of the good teams bat quite deep," he added.

Asked to comment on his future, the wicketkeeper-batsman said, "Not sure (about next the World Cup). I'm 33, I'm still running, still fit. Next year, T20 World Cup, will be time to decide about 2019 or not." 

- The World Cup, as never before on Rediff.com

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