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'It's a catch-22 situation for India ahead of the World Cup'

Source: PTI
January 30, 2015 18:05 IST
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India captain MS Dhoni. Photograph: Getty Images

India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni has said the dilemma over settling down into the right bowling combination has put the team in a "catch-22 situation" ahead of the ICC World Cup. 

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India's winless tour Down Under ended on Friday after they bowed out of the tri-series following a three-wicket defeat to England at the WACA. 

"We have to look at our attack keeping in mind the balance of the side. Two spinners suit us as (Ravichandran) Ashwin and (Ravindra) Jadeja, and Ashwin and Axar (Patel) can bat a bit, while three seamers and a spinner weakens our batting, it's a catch-22 situation," Dhoni said at the post-match presentation ceremony.

"Playing an extra seamer weakens the batting and even leads to a slow over rate. The lower order batsmen need to perform," Dhoni explained.

India's Mahendra Singh Dhoni looks on. Photograph: Philip Brown/Reuters

In a do-or-die game today against England, Indian batsmen let the team down as they frittered away a good start to be bundled out for 200 in 48.1 overs, losing as many as nine wickets for just 97 runs from a relatively comfortable 103 for one.

And Dhoni was far from impressed with the batsmen's spineless showing. 

"When we started batting I thought we performed decently with the new ball, and a bit more runs initially would have helped. Good bowling and poor selection of shots led to the low score and 40-50 more runs would have helped.

"I don't think the wicket played a factor but the English bowlers extract more from these conditions," Dhoni insisted.

England captain Eoin Morgan. Photograph: Gareth Copley/Getty Images

England recovered from a top-order collapse to record a three-wicket victory and secure a place in the final, to be held on Sunday against hosts Australia. Tottering at 66 for five at one stage, England staged a gritty fightback through James Taylor (82) and Jos Buttler (67). 

"We made it difficult for ourselves and both sides battled with the conditions. If guys got themselves then there was going to be an opportunity. The guys showed that they are ruthless once they set in, especially Buttler and Taylor," skipper Eoin Morgan said. 

He added: "Buttler is excellent and there's more to come. We have gone from strength to strength and our bowling has done well, building blocks on our way to the World Cup." 

James Taylor of England salutes the crowd in Perth. Photograph: Gareth Copley/Getty Images

Man of the Match Taylor was delighted with his effort and also praised the way Buttler batted. 

"I am delighted with the win and to make the finals, but credit to Buttler as well. I was trying to concentrate when wickets fell, was struggling a bit and Buttler played an outstanding innings. 

"I've been waiting to get some opportunities and trying to get my side over the line and managed to do that today. I knew if I was there till the end we were going to be around thereabouts." 

Regarding the pitch, Taylor said, "It was a decent cricket wicket to be fair and the bounce was interesting."

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