By Ashish Shukla
London: Sep 12, 2011
Frustrated after rain interruptions forced a tie in the fourth ODI against England, Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni said the "ugly side of cricket" came to fore in the match as the side which had the upper hand "didn't want to play."
Sunday's tie gave England the five-match series after the first game was washed out and the hosts won the next two.
India had set England a formidable target of 281 in Sunday's match before rain interruptions forced a tie with the hosts at the Duckworth-Lewis par score of 270 for eight.
"We just saw the ugly side of cricket. Whichever team has the upper hand, doesn't want to play. Whichever team is not on winning side, will stick around and even play football.
That's what people do and that's what both sides did," Dhoni said after the match.
There were as many as three interruptions -- first when England were up and second when the Indians were ahead on the Duckworth-Lewis rule.
The intervening showers did cease 10 minutes after the proceedings were ended but the rules didn't permit the game to be played under lights.
"If you have a day game, you need different guidelines and principles to follow. If you put it under lights, it doesn't look nice," he said.
Dhoni said some of the Indian players were confused about the result.
"Some of the guys were confused. Some thought we had won it. Most of us thought it was a passing shower and we would be able to get back on the field," said Dhoni.
"Once inside the dressing room, we saw the final sheet of paper. After looking at it, it was apparent it was a tie and none of the side had won the game," he added.
Expressing his frustration with the interruptions, which robbed his side of a win in the series, Dhoni said, "This is not the first time. We were close to winning the first game also. But as I said, you can't control the weather."
Dhoni's batting was quite refreshing as was the knock of Suresh Raina who top-scored with 84 runs.
"We got off to a good start. Openers did well. When I came in, we wanted to make sure we play a number of overs.
"We didn't have a target in mind. We wanted to try and rotate the strike. Not to play shots which were risky and get closer to the 40-over mark. In the last 10 overs, we were able to get 110 runs which really made a difference."
For the second game running, India did well in batting powerplay. In the last game at the Oval, they made 51 runs from five overs and here at the Lord's, they plundered 58.
"It has been good in the last two games. It's important not to look for 60 runs in five overs. You look at 40 runs as a benchmark. If you have explosive power, the last three overs can really make a difference. You can even get 50 runs. But its important not to aim too high," Dhoni said.
There was a feeling that with so much on his plate, Dhoni was better off in giving the keeping responsibility to Parthiv Patel.
"I am not a very good fielder. I love fielding on the boundary. But you can't lead the side from there. So, that option (of letting Patel keep) is not there right now."
Dhoni said it would be India's aim to win the final game at Cardiff on Friday.
"Every game is important. Every game is an international game. It's important to get the most out of it. It wouldn't be bad to get a victory finally in the whole of series."
England will be visiting India next month and after the encouraging show by a few youngsters, speculation is rife about the seniors retaining their spots.
"Quite a few players would be fit by then. We then may not have a very good fielding side. But then grounds in India are small and there is not much opportunity for batters to take singles or two’s.
"You have to see which all players are available. It becomes difficult when senior players are available. It's tough for the youngsters but (this tour) has been a good grooming period for them. When the time comes, they could be around for 5-10 years."(PTI)