MS Dhoni © Getty Images
MS Dhoni has backed his batsmen despite India losing ODI series to New Zealand © Getty Images


Wellington: Jan 31, 2014


His team overwhelmingly crushed by New Zealand, ranked seven rungs below India, a confused skipper MS Dhoni muttered some inanities about the loss, asking his batsmen to “improvise and adapt” while praising his bowlers who gave away 303 runs in the fifth and final One-Day International (ODI).


After losing the fourth ODI three days ago, Dhoni had castigated his wayward bowlers, asking them to use their “brains more”. They conceded over 300 runs but he thought the new-ball bowling was “really good” and even the death bowling to some extent.


The 0-4 loss to the Kiwis with one ODI tied, meant that the Indians were dethroned from their number one ranking. The whitewash meant that the Dhoni-led team has a winless streak of eight ODIs since last month, including three in South Africa.


“All defeats are bad and at the end of the day you can’t really measure disappointment,” said a philosophical Dhoni.


Despite batting failures, he backed his batsmen but cautioned them about the need to learn and adapt their game.


“We have invested a lot in our batting. It wasn’t a lack of experience because a lot of players in the side have played a lot of ODI cricket and most of them are batsmen. But New Zealand executed their plans very well and whatever we tried chasing or batting first  it didn’t work. So now it is up to our batsmen to improvise and adapt and bring in a positive attitude,” he said.


“After one season, once you become a settled side the opposition starts planning against each and every batsman and that has been the case all over the world.


“Fresh questions are asked and the batsmen are talented enough to get out of it. But they will need to put in a lot of effort in the practice sessions and mentally make their plans, what they need to do once they go into the game,” he tried to explain.


Dhoni said his team has the talent to rise to the challenge.


“I am hoping with the kind of talent they have, the amount of games that they have played they will come out of it and that will be a big positive for us,” Dhoni said, outlining this poor performance as a bad phase for the team.