Last few overs didn't go our way: Dhoni

Last few overs didn't go our way: Dhoni

Skipper says India lost the plot in crucial tie after 13th over

Opting to bat first, India had raced to 90 for two in 10 overs but could score only 73 in the second half. “I think they really bowled well after the 13th over,” said Dhoni, who struggled to negotiate accurate toe-crushers from the Lankan pacemen. “We had two really set batsmen at that point. I was batting with Raina but they made it really difficult for us.

“We had two overs each from Malinga and Perera and they consistently bowled outside-off yorkers. It was very difficult; we tried our best to get as many runs as possible, but you can’t do much about yorkers. Of course it’s always better to score more runs, but you are not positioned to score. We were looking to slog everything but unfortunately we neither lost wickets nor got runs,” he rued.

Dhoni said he didn’t regret batting first. “If you want the other side to bat first and even if they score 150, it’s like having to score almost 10 runs an over to win and qualify. It becomes a difficult task then. With the kind of batting we have, we could have scored 180-odd. The target would have been 160-170 (to go ahead of Sri Lanka on run rate) and that would have been a good target to defend. I don’t regret it, it’s just that the last few overs didn’t go our way,” he reasoned. After the defeat, Dhoni said he was ready to receive the brickbats. “Appreciation and criticism aren’t something we haven’t seen before. The kind of reception we got after our victory in South Africa and the way we were treated after we collapsed in the West Indies in 2007… it doesn’t really bother us.
We tried to do our best and gave our best shot. We didn’t come here to lose.

“As a captain, you are always under pressure. It’s the responsibility of the captain to explain why the team didn’t do well because he’s the face of the team. He gets the credit when he does well. We are leading a country where cricket is a big sport and each time we go out, we are expected to win,” he explained.

An otherwise cool and calm Dhoni surprisingly appeared a little flustered when he was told about the sloganeering and protests back home. “As far as sloganeering is concerned, I am not bothered. We play the game the whole year, we represent the country. To those who come on the road and protest against us or do sloganeering, all I can say is we are more respectful of our country than them. I am not really bothered, they can do whatever they want,” he said.