Batsmen failed to deliver, says Dhoni

Skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni said on Sunday that India’s batsmen didn’t deliver against Australia in a vital tri-series league match at the SCG.

MS Dhoni in conversation with Billy Bowden

“I don’t need to explain. We have not done enough with the bat. We have get them out below 200 to win games,” said Dhoni.

“We have a much better batting line-up. Since we are not in good form, there’s pressure on batsmen who are scoring runs to stay at the crease. Numbers 7, 8 or 9 are coming in to bat close to the 30th over. We are often five down after 20 overs. We haven’t done well consistently enough,” he added.

Despite the batsmen’s poor show, Dhoni said he didn’t intend taking harsh steps. “We have been explaining what needs to be done. I am not a believer in pinpointing individuals. On wickets with pace and bounce, you need to give yourself more time. Batsmen who are set have to sweat it out because all of us are not in good form.”
Dhoni asserted that Sachin Tendulkar and Virender Sehwag were the right men to open the innings. “Sachin and Sehwag are the best men to open. Gautam is someone who has plenty of experience at number three. It’s been tough for him.

“Sehwag plays flamboyant but when he gets out, one thinks maybe this is not the right way. But that’s how he has got 8,000 runs in Tests and also 6,000 in one-dayers

“You need to back him. Hopefully, he would come back strong. The game he gets in, he takes the attack to opposition. Every international team now has an opener like that,” he said.

On the Tendulkar episode, stand-in Australia skipper Shane Watson rather cheekily said, “I thought Sachin was upset with Gambhir’s call.”

On his comeback, Watson said, "The last few weeks and months have been very frustrating. I've had a few false starts coming back, so to be able to play first of all and get through it is another day down and another day that my body adapts to doing what I want to do with it. Also to have the captaincy in my first game back took my mind off my body.”

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