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We failed as a batting unit: Dhoni

cricket Updated: Nov 03, 2009 07:57 IST

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Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni blamed his batsmen for the loss against Australia in the fourth One-day international in Mohali on Monday that allowed the visitors to level the seven-match series 2-2.

Chasing a victory target of 251, India were all out for 226 in 46.4 overs on a batting friendly track at the Punjab Cricket Association Stadium (PCA).

"We should have achieved the target and for that we had to bat 50 overs. But we failed as a batting unit. It was a fantastic One-day wicket," said Dhoni.

"It is big set-back for the team. The batsmen got the starts but failed to convert them into partnerships," he said.

Dhoni, however, lauded his bowlers and fielders, who affected four run outs, for restricting Australia much below the par total on this ground.

"Our bowlers did a good job and this was one of the best fielding efforts in the last one and a half years. But we have to show the same intensity in fielding regularly," said Dhoni.

The Indian captain also defended young fast bowler Ishant Sharma, who is going through a rough patch and gave away 42 runs in five overs.

"Ishant was targeted by the Australians. And that can happen to any bowler on any day. They took the risk against Ishant and it paid off," he said.

Dhoni also added that Gautam Gambhir, who missed the match due to a neck injury, would be available for the fifth ODI in Hyderabad.

Australian skipper Ricky Ponting said it was a good win to level the series.

"Ideally we should have scored more than 250. We were 30-40 runs short. But we bowled and fielded superbly and the bowlers stood up to the task," he said.