Dhoni finds fault with his batters

New Delhi, June 23: Indian skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni believed his batters and fielders were found wanting against West Indies in a Super Eight match against West Indies here on Friday. However, he didn’t give the credit where it was due the West Indian fast bowlers who wreaked havoc in Indian innings.

Fidel Edwards was one reason why Indians had a terrible start and were 29 for 3 in the fifth over. Dwayne Bravo took 4 for 38 and bowled deliberately at batsmen’s body. And even though Jerome Taylor has figures of none for 44 from his four overs, he was an ideal foil in pace and bounce to Edwards and Indians were visibly rattled.

But the batting did fail for the Indians, with the honourable exceptions of Yuvraj Singh and Yusuf Pathan, and they also appeared a foot slow in the field.

“Even though Yuvraj Singh batted brilliantly and we recovered, 153 wasn’t enough on that kind of wicket. We needed more runs in the early overs but unfortunately our top order didn’t quite come good.

“Then in fielding, even though we didn’t drop catches, we could have done better. We could have made a score of 153 appear 163 which could have been useful.

“In contrast, West Indies fielded very well. They picked some very good catches. In a format such at this one, these little things make a big difference.”

Interestingly, Dhoni defended his bowlers even though the weakness of leaking runs in slog overs was once again evident. Indians conceded 31 runs in two overs – 16 in the 17th over bowled by Ishant Sharma and then 15 by Harbhajan Singh in the 18th over.

“I don’t think we lost match in those overs. We lost match in the middle overs when Dwayne Bravo batted so brilliantly.

“When a batsman is in such form, there is little you could do. It was the same with Yuvraj. When a batsman is in flow, he can pick his gaps and hit where he wants to.

“Actually I am quite satisfied with our bowling. I thought we bowled well and didn’t allow them to get away in initial overs. It was our priority to check scoring and Gayle in initial overs.”

Dhoni’s decision to discard his tactics to bring himself on to crease at the fall of first wicket also could have had bearing on the outcome. However, the cerebral Indian skipper had a reason for it.

“I have been coming at number three because our openers had been giving us good start. I was coming in to bat at 4th or 6th over. But it wasn’t the case today. We lost an early wicket and I thought Suresh Raina, who had such a terrific IPL, would be the ideal man for the situation.

“Unfortunately, it wasn’t to be.”

Man of match Dwayne Bravo was thankful to his captain for his tremendous effort today.

“This is what I was born to do. I am thankful to my captain to have promoted me up the order and I seized the opportunity with both hands.”

West Indian captain Chris Gayle lauded his fast bowlers, especially Fidel Edwards, for putting Indians on the backfoot.

“India is a quality side and they bat to the last player.

“However Fidel (Edwards) was brilliant today. He did damage to their top order and didn’t allow them to get off to a flier.”