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Dhoni Miffed With Performance Of Frontline Bowlers

He may been a relieved man after India beat Bangladesh by six wickets in the cricket tri-series in Mirpur on Thursday but captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni was miffed with the performance of his frontline bowlers. 
PTI January 08, 2010 9:37 IST

He may been a relieved man after India beat Bangladesh by six wickets in the cricket tri-series in Mirpur on Thursday but captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni was miffed with the performance of his frontline bowlers. 

Dhoni expressed his disappointment with the showing of his bowlers as they allowed the home side to pile up 296 for six from their alloted 50 overs. 

"It was quite disappointing that all the bowlers did not perform well today. Not a single frontline bowler were not upto the mark. Only Yuvraj Singh (1/33 from 10 overs) bowled well. We cannot take Ravindra Jadeja as a frontline bowler but he bowled well," Dhoni said at the post-match conference. 

Zaheer Khan bled 43 from his six overs without any wicket while Ashish Nehra conceded 44 runs from his six overs with just a victim against his name. Off-spinner Harbhajan Singh too was off-colour as he finished with figures of one for 56 from his nine overs while Jadeja took one wicket for 45 runs. 

Dhoni also expressed surprise at Bangladesh captain Sakib al Hasan's decision to bat first after winning the toss, despite the dew factor coming into play later in the evening. 

"I was surprised that he opted to bat. In the first two matches whoever had won the toss had opted to bowl first because everybody knows dew will play a major role in the result," he said.

The Indian captain said his side was under pressure after Bangladesh reduced them to 51 for three inside nine overs. 

"Bangladesh scored nearly 300 and they got early breakthroughs as we were down 51 for three. We were under pressure. I and Virat were a bit nervous. But Virat played a superb innings and Suresh (Raina) supported us," Dhoni said. 

The tournament organisers, meanwhile, said the skippers of all the three teams have accepted to the proposal of advancing the starting time of all the four remaining matches from tomorrow but Dhoni said an early start of 30 minutes will hardly make any difference. 

"We had wanted starting the match by 11.30 am (local time) or 12 pm. Advancing by just 30 minutes will not make much difference," said Dhoni. 

Praising Kohli for his 91-run knock, Dhoni said, "He has grabbed whatever opportunity that came his way. It is difficult to make way in the Indian middle order be it in Test or ODI. He is putting pressure to the established middle order players. That is good sign for Indian cricket." 

Asked about his performance and his role as a floater in the batting order, Dhoni said, "I am happy that I scored a hundred under pressure and it came as a winning cause. Batting as a floater has benefits. For example, you come to know of the pressure of batting at different positions. A batsman batting at number three does not know the pressure at batting at number six or seven or ice versa. So it helps you adjust at different roles." 

Dhoni did not agree to the remark by his Bangladesh counterpart Sakib al Hasan that Indian team was more of individual performers whereas Sri Lanka relied on team effort. 

"That was a wrong tag given to us. It is not like that. Of course, individuals have to contribute for the team. It is not that only a few individuals contribute for a win. I contribute for the team and then Virat and Raina chipped in that is like that," Dhoni explained. 

His counterpart Sakib conceded that he made a mistake when he spread the field against Dhoni and Kohli instead of going for the attack. 

"I think I made a mistake when I spread the field instead of bringing in close in fielders. But I am learning from mistakes. I am learning from every match," he said. 

Sakib said his side were in with a chance to win the match had he not dropped Dhoni in the 33rd over with his Indian counterpart batting on 61. 

"Had I taken the catch it would have been a different game. At that time I think they needed to score 120 or so runs," he rued. 

Explaining why he decided to bat after winning the toss, Sakib said, "In the morning when we saw the pitch I thought it was a good batting track. We would not have chased down 320 if we had asked India to bat." 

The home team captain also gave credit to the Indians for their performance. 

"Dhoni and Virat really played well. After they were down 51 for three they played the ball on merit. They played sensibly. Their partnership took the game away from us," he said. PTI