ODI series has become tougher: Dhoni


Hyderabad : The ongoing one-day international (ODI) series against Australia has become tougher and all batsmen need to chip in, said Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni after his team’s 47 run loss in the third one-dayer here Friday.

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He, however, refused to lay the entire blame on the batsmen, saying the team needed to improve in all departments in the remaining matches.

“We knew that this series is tough and it has now become tougher. Australians now have an upper hand,” admitted the wicket keeper batsman at a post-match press conference. The visitors have taken a 2-0 lead in the seven match series. The first one-dayer at Bangalore was washed out.

Dhoni, who led India to Twenty20 World Cup victory in South Africa last month, said the team bowled well Friday with only 30 runs being scored in the last five overs, but the failure to get a good start during the reply mounted pressure on other batsmen.

“All batsmen need to chip in. We need to get a good start. This is the key. A good initial partnership can help the batsmen coming down the order to manage a seven to 7.5 run-rate in the last overs,” he said.

Dhoni said had he been there for a few more overs with Yuvraj Singh, the situation would have been different. “Yuvraj is disappointed that the team could not win despite his second good knock here,” he said.

The vice captain scored 121 runs, his second century in as many matches at Rajiv Gandhi stadium here. He had scored 103 in the match against South Africa in November 2005 but the visitors won the match by five wickets.

On former captain Sourav Ganguly being dropped for today’s match, Dhoni said he was not 100 percent fit and that the team did not want to take a risk.

Australian skipper Ricky Ponting said he was happy with the way his team was playing. “But we can’t afford to rest on that. We have to keep working hard as there is always room for improvement,” he told the press conference.

“Things have worked out fine so far. Batting was good on a low and slow track like this. I thought we batted really well to post 290,” he said but felt the Australians needed to improve their fielding.

“On the bowling front, (Mitchell) Johnson was terrific, Brett (Lee) got his wickets up front while Stuart (Clarke) has been reliable,” he said.

Man of the match Andrew Symonds said the track required the batsmen to be a bit patient. “The track kept a little low and it was a bit difficult to score. We tried to get partnerships going. We thought getting to 290 was a good effort,” he said.