MS Dhoni (above) praised Shami Ahmed for his three-wicket haul © PTI (File Photo)

Ranchi: Oct 23, 2013

Anything close to 300-run mark is always tough to chase down but India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni backed his batsmen to overhaul the 296-run target set by Australia in the fourth One-Day International (ODI) which was called off due to rain in Ranchi on Wednesday.

Dhoni said all that his side would have needed was a good start to chase down the target after Australia made 295 for eight after being asked to bat at the JSCA Stadium.

“It depended on the first 15 overs, on the start we get. If we didn’t lose too many wickets the pitch would have become better to bat on,” he said after the match was washed out.

India were 27 for no loss in 4.1 overs when heavens opened up for the second time during the match. The match was stopped because of light drizzle which later intensified, making the ground unplayable.

The match was called off after the umpires found out that the ground was too water logged to continue the proceedings.

“The weather is not in our control. To some extent you are a bit disappointed, but whatever result it was we have to accept it. We wouldn’t have minded a 20 over game with the start we had,” Dhoni said.

The Indian skipper was full of praise for fast bowler Shami Ahmed (three for 42) who impressed with his deceptive bowling.

“He [Shami] is deceptive. He bowls quicker than you think. What was important was he bowled full and the wickets he got, he was hitting the bails,” Dhoni said.

“In the death he was getting the yorkers in pretty consistently. I know they will come back strong.”

India‘s fielding was not upto the mark today as they dropped as many as six catches, but Dhoni backed his butterfingered fielders to come back strongly in the next match.

“At times it happens, some of the stadiums it is difficult to sight the ball,” he said.

Australian captain George Bailey, who top-scored for his team with a 94-ball 98, also expressed disappointment with the wash out.

“It could have been a reasonably good game of cricket. We snuck away with the bat, thanks to Glenn Maxwell’s innings.

There was a little bit of swing and seam and he assessed the conditions well, especially considering he had to bat longer than he is normally used to,” he said.

With a lively pitch on offer, Bailey said he backed his side to win the match.

“We fancied our chances, with the pitch providing a bit of seam and pace and Mitch (Mitchell Johnson) was getting it to go,” he said.

“But it’s obviously important to be in the lead in any series and hopefully we’ll get to Cuttack and get a good game in and get a win.”