Dhoni blames middle-order collapse for loss

Dhoni blames middle-order collapse for loss

M S Dhoni blamed the middle-order struggles for India’s winless end to the tri-series campaign. 

India crashed out of the tournament after their third loss in as many completed matches here on Friday.   

“If you see we didn’t win too many Tests in England. We won just one Test, and then (we won) the ODIs,” Dhoni began in his round-about style when asked about India’s losing streaks away from home.

“… But if you see the ODI pattern in New Zealand and over here, the middle-order has been losing too many wickets in quick succession, which means there is too much pressure on the batsmen who are batting at that point of time. 

“You may say it is a bit of a pattern, which we need to change to some extent. And we should be able to do that with this break over here and a bit more time to think about the game. I think the guys will come back stronger,” he hoped after India’s loss to England. 

Dhoni was asked if he would want to stay away from cricket during a week’s break before they commence their World Cup campaign. “Not only me… everybody,” he said. “Lock the kitbag, keep it somewhere you don’t even want to see it. Completely switch off from cricket.”

Ishant Sharma was once again was left out of the side after the paceman complained of soreness in his knee. Dhoni, however, ruled out any threat of him missing the World Cup. Ishant hasn’t played a single match after the third Test in Melbourne and even though he was part of the abandoned Sydney ODI, he didn’t get to bowl at all.    

“According to the physio, he may be fit in the next four days,” Dhoni replied when asked if Ishant could potentially miss the World Cup. “That’s what they are saying. Apart from that, I am not a physio, I don’t know. I just ask him who all are available and he tells me the guys who are available. I am okay with it.

“He bowled in the ‘nets’, and after that he had a sore knee because of the ‘nets’ session. When I came for the press conference (on Thursday) there was no niggle as such. This came to our notice by evening but it was too late for us to do anything. Also the reason we didn’t want to push him is because if there is niggle, it may turn into an injury.”

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