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Skipper MS Dhoni walked in to bat at 29 for five in the first ODI against Pakistan at Chennai © Getty Images

Chennai: Dec 31, 2012

Pakistan drew first blood in the three-match ODI series as India lost and one of the greatest ODI innings ended in a losing cause. While speaking about his knock, Indian skipper MS Dhoni defended his top order batsmen who he believes were dismissed by very good deliveries.

“You cannot question the talent of our top order because they all got out to good deliveries,” he said, as reported by bcci.tv

He also spoke about his knock, and said, “It’s not like I have plenty of 100s to choose from. So, all of them are very special for me,” he said after receiving the Man of the Match award.

“However, you don’t want an opportunity to score a 100 batting at No.7 because you want your top order to perform,” he added, proving once again that he doesn’t play cricket for numbers.

In the unbearable Chennai heat, Dhoni began to cramp up and was struggling for a while.

“It was very humid and sunny. I was pretty drained but the good thing is that I didn’t do any damage by pulling any muscle. It was only cramps and after hydrating in the break between the innings I was again able to keep wickets for 50 overs,” Dhoni said, not mentioning that he had the team’s medical team out in the second innings to check his body temperature. In all probability, the man played with fever, but he is not one to seek sympathies.

“When Raina and I were batting, the odd ball was still doing a bit but the movement of the ball was nothing compared to the first seven or eight overs,” the Indian captain said while defending his batsmen.

With India’s poor form, Dhoni has been receiving criticism from a lot of people. However, he has his unique way to look at all of it.

“I accept whatever is thrown my way. I feel good that I am the punching bag because that means there’s less pressure on the team,” he said.

“You need to have a few punching bags in the side. Sachin [Tendulkar] has been there for quite some time. Everyone talks about him and he takes all the tension. I don’t think everyone gets a chance to be the punching bag. I’m happy that I can take a bit of tension off my teammates’ shoulders,” Dhoni added.

“We’ll have to do really well in the next game to stay alive in the series going into the last match. We’ll also have to make a few changes in the side to suit the new rules.

“It’s crucial to find the right balance. You need to have five good bowlers as well as depth in batting. We’ll have to review everything. We need to strengthen our bowling but at the same time not lose out on a batsman. So, batsmen who can bowl will have to take their bowling very seriously,” demanded the captain.