Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Dhoni admits India Batting Flop

India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni admitted his highly-regarded batsmen had flopped after the defending champions lost their third successive World Twenty20 Super Eights match on Tuesday.

India, already out of contention for the semi-finals, were defeated by 12 runs by South Africa despite chasing just 131 to win on a slow Trent Bridge wicket.

"The team was up for it right from the warm-up," said Dhoni.

"But the batting really hasn't been up to the mark. Hopefully, when we come back to England it will be different and improve. With the batsmen, if the top three don't click it becomes very hard.

"The bowlers did well but we have a few things to work on when it comes to the batting."

South Africa captain Graeme Smith, whose team will face Pakistan in the semi-finals here on Thursday, praised his team's ability to adapt to all surfaces and conditions.

"I think 130 on that wicket was a good total. The wicket was slow and the way we defended the total was excellent," he said.

"We have adapted to all surfaces and we have showed how far we have come in terms of our thinking and our options.

"Our fielding was great. It was a great wicket for our slow bowlers. We needed them to take responsibility and they did just that.

"Facing Pakistan will be a great day and we'll need to play our best cricket. We are excited about the semi-finals."

Man of the match AB de Villiers, who hit 63 off 51 deliveries, said patience was key to building runs.

"It wasn't the fanciest knock of my life," he said. "The trick is to have a good foundation for the first 20 balls and then express yourself."

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