Leaking early runs cost us dear: Dhoni

In the rain-curtailed second one-dayer at the Rose Bowl, England looted 51 in the first block of five-over field restrictions and at The Oval, the hosts hammered 63 runs in the first 10 overs in a low-target chase to tilt the game in their favour.

“Whether it is a 50-over game or a 40-over game, you have to be at your best for the whole period,” Dhoni said, pointing to India’s shortcomings. “In the first ten overs, we have given away too many runs and it is one area of concern. It is not the first time we are going through this, it has happened to us in the past when we have given away runs in the first few overs but after, that the fast bowlers with a bit of reverse swing were able to pull things back.

“Over here, it is becoming a bit difficult to put pressure on the batsmen. If you have more than six runs to chase per over, then it becomes tough for the opposition and then you can manoeuvre around. But more often than not, we have not really done that.

The second thing is that today, we were not off to a good start (in batting) and to score 234 after that was a very good effort. Only two batsmen and a lower-order player contributed. As a team, we need to click together,” he elaborated.

Ravindra Jadeja’s exploits, Dhoni felt, was the biggest positive of the match. “The biggest positive was that it looked as though we have got five bowlers because the bowling department was struggling a bit. We were missing a fifth bowler because someone (one of the regular bowlers) will have an off-day in a particular game and will go for runs. In that case, if you have five specialist bowlers, it makes your life slightly easy. It was really nice to see Jadeja score runs (also),” he reasoned.

Dhoni termed off-spinner R Ashwin a thinking cricketer. “He backs himself with the kind of variations he has got. I won’t say he has not bowled well in this series. One of the reasons is that in whatever games we have played, there has been rain and to grip the ball for a finger spinner is very difficult. I thought he bowled decently well. In this game, he had an opportunity to show his talent and it was turning a bit. He always loves to compete.”

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