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MS Dhoni says job of finisher is the toughest on slow wickets

Mahendra Singh Dhoni has said batting down the order is a tough proposition and has called for more patience to be shown with the inexperienced middle order.

cricket Updated: Oct 29, 2016 13:20 IST
MS Dhoni,Virat Kohli,India
MS Dhoni failed to get going in his home town of Ranchi as India lost the fourth ODI by 19 runs to New Zealand.(PTI)

India’s limited overs skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni has said the job of a finisher is one of the toughest and it is difficult to find a ‘complete’ player who is adept at batting in the lower order and take the team through when the chips are down.

“Batting down the order is one of the toughest things to do especially on wickets like these. There will be pressure to rotate, to get a partnership. It’s not easy. You don’t always get a player who’s complete and bats at number five,six or seven,” Dhoni said following India’s 19-run loss to New Zealand in the fourth ODI.

Ajinkya Rahane (57) and Virat Kohli (45) gave India a fluent start but their modest 261-run chase went horribly wrong after the hosts collapsed to 241 all-out after being 128-2 at one stage.

Read More | Despite loss in Ranchi, Dhoni’s use of bowlers showed his class as skipper

Axar Patel (38) and Amit Mishra (14) had revived India’s hope but before they could convert it into a match-winning partnership the latter was run-out.

Asking for more patience to be shown with the inexperienced middle-order, Dhoni said: “Batting down the order on wickets like this when you’re chasing is always going to be tough. You will have to give them time. They will find their way. After they get more and more games like this they will figure out what suits best for them to chase a total.

“On a wicket like this, when the score was not too much, you need partnerships. With two new balls, it comes on to bat better initially. The wicket slows down. It does not come on to the bat that well. It was a difficult phase and it becomes difficult to rotate. When you have partnerships going, a lot of stuff becomes easier. If you lose wickets at that point of time, it adds to the pressure. Bowlers tend to bowl in right areas and becomes difficult,” he added.

With this win, New Zealand levelled the five-match series 2-2 and now head to Vizag for the final ODI on Saturday.

One of the best run chasers in world cricket, Kohli was caught behind in his attempt to cut a wide delivery from leg-spinner Ish Sodhi and his rare failure coincided with India losing the match.

Asked whether India were heavily reliant on Kohli, Dhoni said: “It’s not like that. The stats don’t exactly reflect the exact scenario.”

India have not enjoyed their time in ODIs in 2016, having lost 2-3 to South Africa at home and 1-4 to Australia away. Barring two wins against Zimbabwe, their last series win was against England in 2014.

First Published: Oct 27, 2016 16:46 IST