Sunday, November 8, 2009

We lost the game in first 15 minutes: Dhoni

Guwahati: Dejection written on his face after losing the ODI series to Australia, India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni said his team lost Sunday's do-or-die match in the first 15 minutes itself.

Dhoni's gamble to bat first on a tricky track boomeranged and the match virtually slipped out of their hand by nine overs when the home side was gasping for breath at 27 for five.

"During the toss I said that the first half hour will be crucial for us but the first 15 minutes proved more than enough," Dhoni said after the match.

"We lost quite a few wickets after that we never really were in the game," he explained.

With the win, Australia took an unassailable 4-2 lead in the series.

For Australia, pace duo of Doug Bollinger (5/35) and Mitchell Johnson 3/39) made merry on a wicket which offered generous movement even though Dhoni defended his decision to bat first and felt a score in the vicinity of 220 could have been enough.

"Of course there was a bit of movement in the wicket but overall I think the Australians bowled really well. We could have batted second looking at the conditions but then also it would have been tough because the spinners were getting great amount of turn. I think we were fortunate enough to score 170 as at one stage, 150 was looking tough. We fell short by 50-55 runs," Dhoni said.

The Indian captain said losing a couple of close games made all the difference in the series.

"The Mohali game followed by the Hyderabad game, we should have won both. In both the matches the Australians took the game away from us. A couple of mistakes we made in the field and we lost the games," he added.

His counterpart Ricky Ponting, meanwhile, lauded his team for their spirited display, especially after losing some of their key players to injuries and said it was a memorable series win for him.

"I couldn't be happier. (This is) probably one of the best series I have been involved with. It was heartening to see the boys gel as a group especially after so many injuries. The performance of the team in the last two games have been satisfying," an ecstatic Ponting said.

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