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Michael Hussey - Mike's Corner

We desperately tried to dismiss Dhoni before 40th over but couldn’t, admits Hussey

Friday, October 30, 2021
'Dhoni was unstoppable'

If we were to sit and analyze what went wrong in Nagpur on Wednesday, the answer must be – everything. We were pretty much outplayed by the Indians and on all fronts. That is the simple and pure fact.

It all began with Sehwag batting aggressively at the top as is his wont. He gets the side off to such a start that the pressure on those following him is that much lesser. With Dhoni, allowing him to bat until the end is never a good idea, as he is such a fantastic finisher.

I realize there will be some talks about our decision to chase rather than bat and pile up the runs. However, the fact that the pitch looked good for all 100 overs and the possibility of dew falling later at night did influence our decision. Moreover, the ground being a big one and an excellent one at that, we thought it would be hard to defend. As it turned out it wasn’t the best decision we have taken.

The decision to chase runs wasn't the best under the circumstances, admits Hussey. © AFP

I must admit Dhoni played a great innings. It started off with accent on building partnerships and in typical Dhoni fashion where he likes to push the ones and twos and doesn’t bother too much about the boundaries. That he is extremely quick between the wickets helps. We were desperately trying to get him out before the 40th over for that’s when he starts to explode. We couldn’t get him and he got to us, it was all that simple.

About Dhoni’s run-in with Mitchell Johnson, there was a bit of a collision, something that happens in a game. There was no issue as such and both players just got on with the game.

When our turn to bat came, the Indian bowlers did a very good job. The lights at Nagpur were excellent, with no dark areas anywhere on the field, and in any case batting under lights is not very much different than in natural light, so there’s no excuses on offer there. The Indian pacers got some movement though and set us back. They showed good control too. When you are chasing so much, you need batsmen to come up with hundreds but that was not to be that night.

In the end, we were quite philosophical about the whole thing. We just have to put that game behind us and move on. The good thing is there is no time to ponder about what may have been, with the next match just one day away. The series is after all just two matches old, there’s a long way to go as yet.

We are hoping that our injured personnel recover soon. James Hopes is looking as if he is not too far away from match fitness and Brett Lee’s swelling on the elbow has reduced. I am not sure yet when he will be able to play again, but we are looking forward to having them all fit soon.