The Telegraph
Monday , January 28 , 2013
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We were 30-35 runs short, says Dhoni

Mahendra Singh Dhoni, in Dharamsala, on Sunday. (PTI)

Dharamsala: Captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni on Sunday said had India batted “more sensibly” they could have won the fifth and final ODI here and wrapped up the series by a bigger margin.

Put into bat, India were all out for 226 and Dhoni said the home team were 30-35 runs short of the target at the picturesque HPCA Stadium on Sunday.

The following are excerpts

Alastair Cook: It was a good win, it was a good toss to win, but our bowlers bowled really well. Bresnan and Finn got early breakthroughs today. Our top-four got runs and Bell played a fantastic knock. The pitch was doing something all day, so it was important to stick around with wickets in hands, it is important with the new regulations. We have good positives to take from this series. It has been a fantastic three months in India.

Mahendra Singh Dhoni: The ODI series was as tight as the Test series. You can make out how tight it was given the quality of the game. We should have won this game… May be, we should have batted more sensibly. We were 30-35 runs short. But it is a young side and the boys will learn from their mistakes. Overall, I’m happy… There are a few areas of concern, especially with the new ODI rules in place. Thankfully in three games, we didn’t have to bowl in the death overs. In the future, in whatever ODI series we play, we need to ensure that we execute our plans in the death overs.

It was a bad toss to lose. Initially, there was a bit of swing for the fast bowlers, especially with the new ball. We did bowl slightly short… Still, we came back nicely, but the total was not enough to defend.

The bowlers did well in this series… The conditions also helped them. The ball was swinging and they exploited the conditions. Bhuvneshwar Kumar was someone who could swing the ball either ways… It was good to see Shami Ahmed utilising the opportunities. He can also bowl quick. I think Ishant was a big positive… He bowled really well throughout the series… Most of the time, he bowled one-change for us. Still, his economy was really good. It was just that he gave away the runs towards the death. But if you segregate his spells, you would see that he bowled extremely well.

Fielding is a big positive because if you can save 15-odd runs on the field, that really matters in games like these. The pace bowlers can bowl really quick. Ravindra Jadeja’s form solves the all-rounder problem to an extent too. It would be good if Irfan Pathan becomes fully fit and bowls well. Then we can have more firepower in the batting as well as bowling.

Gautam Gambhir has been going through a lean patch but he is an experienced player. I believe he has batted a bit better in the last few games..

Ian Bell (MoM): Our bowlers set up the win but 220 odd was a good target to chase. I really love opening the batting and hopefully I can continue do this in future.

Suresh Raina (MoS): God has been kind… I want to thank my teammates, without whose help this wouldn’t have been possible. We came into the series on the back of ODI series defeat against Pakistan and Test series loss against England. So winning the series was really important for us. We had a lot of team meetings before the matches… We discussed our strengths and weaknesses… We worked on our fitness. Hopefully, we will do well against Australia as well. I was looking to play till the end. I tried to play the short-ball over mid-wicket but that didn’t happen and I got out. Had I remained till the end, things would have been probably different. Today we were probably 20-30 runs short, but still we batted well in this series.