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Rediff.com  » Cricket » We failed to counter the short-pitched stuff: Dhoni

We failed to counter the short-pitched stuff: Dhoni

May 10, 2010 01:28 IST

India skipper MS Dhoni on Sunday said his batsmen were not equipped with proper technique to counter short-pitched balls as they lost their must-win rubber against West Indies in the T20 World Cup in Bridgetown, Barbados on Sunday.

India needed to win the match to stay in the semi-final hunt and the defeat has almost shut the semi-final door on them.

"Batting was our strength. Chasing 170 wasn't impossible. But our batting, despite being long, failed against the West Indian pace battery. Once again, we were found lacking in technique to play the short ball. It was obviously disappointing," Dhoni said.

"It is not that we have come up against it suddenly. Outside the subcontinent we always have to face short-pitched deliveries.

"We are equipped to cope with them, but in T20 if you consistently bowl short-pitched stuff, it becomes difficult as you can't leave too many balls. The pressure mounts when we don't score runs," Dhoni added.

The India captain said they anticipated such a scenario and prepared accordingly but failed in execution of the plans.

"We had prepared well for the tournament and we knew we will face short-pitched stuff. But the execution was not good," he said.

He defended his decision to play an extra batsman, instead of a specialist bowler.

"Our opening bowlers are doing extremely well. Also, most of the batsmen have struggled against our spinners. Bhajji (Harbhajan) bowled well and created pressure. I think our bowling line-up is not different from the line ups of other teams.

"Our opening bowlers have done well and given us a good start in the first six overs. I don't think we were short of bowlers," he said.

The beleaguered Indian captain also protected Ravindra Jadeja who had an awful game, where he miss-fielded, dropped Shivnaraine Chanderpaul and conceded 27 runs in two overs.

"This has been an off tournament for him. He has been doing well for the last year-and-a-half and it's unfair to say anything against him," said Dhoni.

Dhoni lamented the dropped catch of Chris Gayle, when the West Indies captain had 46 in a score of 73 for no loss in 11 overs.

"It was a mistake. I did see Yusuf, but thought he wasn't going for the catch. Later I didn't see Yusuf running. Maybe, if I had caught him, they would have scored less and the end result may have been could have different."

Asked why India had not won a major title in three years, since the 2007 T20 World Cup, Dhoni said, "I don't know the reason."

Chris Gayle said India were good side but needed to sort out their problem against the short-rising ball.

"They are good side. They have quality batsmen. They are dangerous when they play at home. But they need to get it right when the play short bowling, as this is a weakness that all teams will target," said Gayle, who made a majestic 66-ball 98.

He agreed that West Indies would have bowled first had he won the toss.

"We would definitely bowled first as the wicket was damp. It was a difficult wicket to bat on where the ball wasn't coming on to the bat," said Gayle.

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