Indian Captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni backed his underperforming players in New Zealand and the the restless Indian fans have called for the return of veterans Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir to return to the One Day International (ODI) circuit.


India failed to salvage some pride in the fifth and the final ODI and lost it by 87 runs here at the Westpac Stadium for their second successive ODI series loss in two months.


Despite the humiliating series loss, Dhoni backed his boys and said they have to believe in themselves to play their strokes confidently.


“From the talent point of view, these are the players. They have to back themselves to play their strokes but the execution is what is lacking. It’ll be a bigger test of character in the Test series and it will be good for our younger players,” he said.


Dhoni credited the New Zealanders for playing good cricket and said their new ball bowlers have done well.


“Throughout this series, they’ve played very good cricket. Their new ball pair have been very good but where they’ve taken the game away is in the middle overs batting which set up their charge late in the innings, picking up 80-90 runs consistently,” he said.