Losing early wickets pegged us back, said MS Dhoni

MS Dhoni was the top-scorer for India 56 off 84 balls Getty Images

Brisbane: Feb 19, 2012

India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni said losing early wickets while chasing and leaking too many runs in the last 10 overs due to searing heat, were the main reasons for their defeat against Australia in a tri-series match.

Asked to bowl, India conceded 101 runs in the last 10 overs to let Australia set an imposing target of 289.

India were shot out for 178 after a poor start. They had lost their first four wickets for just 36 runs.

“With that kind of score you needed a brisk start. They got early breakthroughs and that put pressure on us. Our bowlers were affected by the heat, they were cramping so it affected their execution,” Dhoni said after the match.

Asked about the continuous failure of India’s big guns, Dhoni said,” It happens. The two new balls make it a bit difficult so you have to respect that early on. It gets a bit easier to hit in the middle overs. You have to plan well.”

Paceman Ben Hilfenhaus was adjudged Man of the Match for taking five wickets for just 33 runs.

Hilfenhaus said getting the wicket of Sachin Tendulkar was satisfying.

“The new white ball swings a lot and I like it for sure. I couldn’t get Sachin through the Test series so I had to get him sometime.”

Stand-in-skipper Ricky Ponting was expectedly pleased with the win after suffering defeat in the last match.

“I thought our score was just above par. The Indians didn’t hit that many boundaries so we were fantastic. We’ve turned the momentum back our way. We knew the pitch would offer a bit more at night. Great for Brett the way he bowled,” Ponting said. (PTI)