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‘We did not apply ourselves’

cricket Updated: Feb 25, 2009 22:28 IST
Anand Vasu
Anand Vasu
Hindustan Times
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Mahendra Singh Dhoni is not the sort of captain who goes after his own team in the media. So the batsmen should sit up and take careful note of what the skipper had to say after India's loss at Christchurch.

“The mistake we committed was that we went with the momentum. Maybe one of the batsmen could've realised that we had got off to a flier… throughout the IPL we have seen that even if you go after the bowlers for 20 overs, you don't score more than 200 runs,” said Dhoni.

“You have to realise whether you're happy with a score of 180 or whether you want look for those extra 25 runs, which we don't actually need, and end up getting 160-odd.”

However, Dhoni was sure that his young team would use this “learning lap” to correct their mistakes. “One area we need to improve upon is analysing the situation. One thing for sure is we have learnt a lot from our mistakes. We are a good side that learns very quickly,” said Dhoni. "We have youngsters who are willing to learn from the mistakes fortunately, if we don't commit these mistakes again we have a very good chance."

Dhoni denied that his team went out trying to his as many sixes as possible, instead re-emphasising the need to keep wickets in hand. "One thing is for sure, in Twenty20 we need wickets in hand at the end," said Dhoni.

"The wickets that you lose in the middle can give you extra runs towards the end. It's very important to realise where the game is going and what your contribution can be."

Brendon McCullum, whose unbeaten 56 was exactly the kind of innings that India's big guns failed to stitch together, was just happy to be there at the end of the chase.

"It was probably not the most fluent innings I've played," the wicketkeeper batsman admitted. "But in the context of the game, and the fact that we had such power at the other end, I was fortunate to be able to hang around and move around for a few singles."

Skipper Daniel Vettori said that the start his bowlers gave him was crucial to the way things panned out."I think it's the start. We know how aggressive India is going to be. We have got to be very precise," he said. "It took us a little while to catch up with it. In the next game there will be huge expectations from our opening bowlers to get us off to a more precise start."