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Batsmen need to perform:, says Dhoni


Vadodra:India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni blamed his batsmen for their four-run loss to Australia in the opening One-Day International cricket match, but said they will bounce back in the seven-match series.

Chasing 293, India were struggling at 201 for seven, before an inspiring batting effort from Harbhajan Singh and Praveen Kumar brought them within inches of victory. The two added 84 runs for the eighth wicket.

“It was a target which we should have achieved. But we were four wickets down by the powerplay. But thanks to Harbhajan and Praveen, they made the match interesting,” Dhoni said.

“We have to work a bit on our bowling but our batsmen need to bat. Chasing 293, it is not possible to win with only one batsman scoring 50. We have an experienced batting line-up and it will bounce back.”

“Ideally, we would have liked to chase a target of around 270, the track becomes slower as the match progresses. It’s a seven-match series and there’s going to be ups and downs.”

Australian skipper Ricky Ponting said it was good toss to win.

“Barring the six-seven overs towards the end, it was a fine performance. We started well and then put the pressure on them while bowling,” Ponting said.

“Harbhajan and Praveen definitely brought India close, it was a good match overall.”

Man-of-the-match David Hussey, who struck 73 off 54 balls, said: “It is a good fun out there. I enjoyed my partnership with Cameron White. We had a good start, thanks to Ponting and Time Paine. We needed a partnership and we tried to add as many runs as possible from the powerplay.”

“It’s a good batting track, but at the same time difficult ground to defend. The crowd was fantastic.”