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Injured Dhoni ruled out of tri-series

cricket Updated: Jul 02, 2013 09:50 IST
Somshuvra Laha
Somshuvra Laha
Hindustan Times
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India were dealt a double blow as they went down to the West Indies by one wicket in a nail-biting Sunday entertainer and also lost captain MS Dhoni for the rest of the series.

Dhoni, who didn't take part in the second innings of Sunday's loss due to a right hamstring injury, was ruled out of the rest of the tournament, according to a release by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).

Ambati Rayudu has been named his replacement and Virat Kohli will lead the team for the rest of the series.

Even though Dhoni's injury comes as a jolt, India are not alarmed by Sunday's defeat. "You can't be too disappointed with these kinds of games," said Virat, who stood in for Dhoni after he didn't take part in the second innings of the match. "We won seven in a row in England and in cricket, you can't win everything. The way the guys fought was very pleasing to see," he said.

While Dhoni's absence means greater responsibility for Dinesh Karthik, who missed a stumping opportunity of Johnson Charles, the top scorer with a match-winning 97, it is also an opportunity for Virat to show his mettle.

But going by his captaincy on Sunday, be rest assured India won't back down from their aggressive intentions. "This was totally unexpected. It was more thinking on the feet. It was a good experience for me," said Virat.

Asked about the significance of having Dhoni around, he said, "There were times when you miss him because he remains calm under pressure."

Nevertheless, Virat set attacking fields despite the few runs West Indies needed to win. "The main reason was with close-in fielders, the tail-enders always find it very difficult. So that odd edge might go to hand and we needed just one wicket," he said.

In a bold step, Virat even handed the ball to Suresh Raina who dismissed Sunil Narine, considered to be a handy bat, in his second over to leave the hosts with 10 runs to get with only one wicket in hand. "I thought Raina is good to left-handers and when he bowls around the wicket, he sort of skids it on. I thought he might hit the pad or force them on to the front foot or get an edge," said Virat, explaining his move.

He might be young but Virat displayed the same vigour with which he has led the Royal Challengers Bangalore. Success against Sri Lanka can only make him more confident and India more assured.