Former India opener Virender Sehwag has blamed the batsmen for India's loss in the third and final ODI against England on Tuesday. England won a ODI series against India for the first time since 2011 after coasting to an impressive eight-wicket win at Headingley. (IND vs ENG 3RD ODI HIGHLIGHTS)
After containing India to 256-8, England's Joe Root and captain Eoin Morgan combined for an unbeaten 186 runs to win with 33 balls to spare and clinch the three-match series 2-1. (IND vs ENG 3RD ODI SCORECARD)
In an exclusive interview with IndiaTV, Sehwag said India lost the series decider because they 'didn't score enough runs' and the batsmen should have taken the responsibility of playing till the end.
"India lost because they didn't score runs. They were 30-40 runs short of putting up a challenging total. The batsmen could have done a better job, be it anyone, Dhoni, Kohli, Rohit or Dhawan, either should have hung on to score runs so that the bowlers could apply pressure in the chase. Bhuvneshwar's injury was still obvious when he was on field. Root and Morgan managed to negate Kuldeep this time. I blame the batsmen for this loss," Sehwag told IndiaTV.
With this win, England avenged their 1-2 loss against India in the T20 series.
Sehwag was highly critical of former captain MS Dhoni's performance in the series-decider.
"If Karthik and Dhoni could have hung on till the end, the outcome could have been very different. I feel that Dhoni is not the same person that he was before. Age is surely catching up. He used to take the responsibility to take the match till the end. He could have converted the many dot balls he played into runs," Sehwag said.
India had made three changes in the third and final ODI of the series as they brought in Dinesh Karthik for KL Rahul, Shardul Thakur for Siddarth Kaul and Bhuvneshwar Kumar for Umesh Yadav. However, the changes didn't matter much as all three couldn't perform to their potential in the crucial match.
Sehwag felt that Kohli would receive a lot of flak for the decisions he made.
"Earlier Virat said that he would experiment with the team and by dropping KL Rahul and Umesh Yadav, it seemed highly unfair. If it worked out, they would have been praised, but since they lost, Kohli will surely be criticised for the changes in the team."