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Dhoni blames batsmen for T20 loss against England

Sunday, October 30, 2021

Kolkata: Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni blamed an ordinary display by his batsmen for the hosts' six-wicket defeat at the hands of England in the lone Twenty20 International.

Dhoni said they were always short on runs despite playing with eight batsmen. © AFP

Opting to bat, India struggled for a good partnership in the middle as the 121-run victory target was easily achieved by England with eight balls to spare on Saturday.

Dhoni said they were always short on runs despite playing with eight batsmen.

"We were short of runs. We were playing with eight batsmen. We always knew that wicket would be on a slow side. It was important for batsmen to continue till end. We did not get off to a good start.

"If you see the comparison between the two sides, the big difference was the four-wicket and the eight-wicket fall. So, there we lost the game," said Dhoni at the post-match press conference.

Asked about the Eden strip which he had termed 'ugly' for the ODIs, Dhoni said it was a decent one.

"It was not the wicket where you look to score 160-170. 130-135 would have been a very good score on this wicket. But Kevin Pietersen batted well, they calculated the game really well.

"The wicket was on a slower side. As the game progressed, it did not change a lot. It was a bit slow compared to ODIs, overall a decent one. I would not say that it was a bad wicket," he said.

India were drubbed in England this summer as they were whitewashed in all three formats of the game but Dhoni said they were never short on confidence something that helped them bounce back.

"We did not completely need to revamp the conditions. Even when we lost the series in England we were in a positive frame of mind. If you know what went wrong, it becomes a bit easy to focus on those areas and improve as a team.

"I think the gap we got in the middle, the individuals got some time to work on those areas. If you see, the fast bowlers did a good job for India. Also the spinners were brilliant. It was like not down and out. The mood was always good in the camp. That helped us bounce back," the skipper added.

With an eye on India's tour to Australia late this year, the selectors have picked a relatively young side for the three-Test series against the West Indies at home starting next month. Dhoni said it would be a challenge for the youngsters.

"Test cricket is a bit different. You need to spend time in the middle. It's a bit difficult that requires slightly different temperament. A bit different to shorter version. The red ball spins a bit more, bowlers get reverse swing. It's a completely different challenge. Experience is very important. You will see the transition as they play more and more cricket they improve."

Dhoni also rubbished reports that he wanted to be rested for the West Indies series.

"I've never answered all these questions."