India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni said had it not been for milestone man Sachin Tendulkar's breathtaking 175 run knock, the hosts would have never come so close of a sensational victory against Australia in the fifth one-dayer in Hyderabad on Thursday.
Dhoni took the positives from the heart-breaking three-run loss and said without Tendulkar's heroic 141-ball innings, it would not have been possible to come so close to the mammoth 351 run target set by Australia.
"Three or four of our top batsmen did not score but still we came close to the target. Sachin Tendulkar played very well and he was one man who brought us close to a win. But even after he left we did not lose hopes till the end," said Dhoni about Tendulkar's fabulous knock which was studded with 19 fours and four sixes.
Dhoni said though this was a special innings from the champion batsman, his personal favourite was the Desert Storm in Sharjah against Australia in April 1998.
"It was a pleasure to see him batting so well. All his centuries have been special and this too. But I am still a big fan of his desert storm (innings)," he said.
Dhoni was also of the view that India lost the mental aspect of the game and not the cricketing part.
"We lost the mental aspect and not the cricketing part of the match. Chasing 350 was always going to be difficult even on this wicket which played very well," he said after India lost a heart-stopper to Australia to give the visitors a 2-3 lead in the seven-match series.