Perth: India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni today said that he never thought his spinners Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja will have such a “bad day” but also praised Australian skipper Steve Smith and George Bailey for playing exceptionally well in the middle overs.
Ashwin (2/69 in 9 overs) and Jadeja (0/61 in 9 overs) together gave away 129 runs in 18 overs as India lost the opening ODI by five wickets.
“When I was speaking about sharing the load before the match, I was speaking about when the fast-bowlers don't have a very good day then I will have to use the spinner. I never thought it will be the spinners who will have a very bad day and the others will have to share that responsibility,” Dhoni said at the post-match press conference.
“I think the Australian batsmen batted really well since there was less assistance from the pitch. They played a few big shots but they rotated the strike really well, and they were getting more than six runs an over.
There was a lot of pressure on us since our spinners went for a few boundaries,” the skipper explained.
He had a word of praise for the fast bowlers.
“The fast bowlers bowled well and gave us a good start with two wickets. That is the kind of start you need when you put runs on the board. But I think the spinners could have bowled better.”
Dhoni had words of praise for left-arm seamer Barinder Sran, who got 3/56 in his debut but also did not forget to mention that the jury is still out on the Punjab youngster.
“I think he bowled really well. He was hitting the right areas, which I feel is important. Being a left-arm fast bowler, they have that slight advantage of the angle that goes away from the right-handed batsmen. I felt overall he bowled really well, but I won't make judgment based on one game.
“We'll also have to see in the coming games when there is pressure on him right from the start - if the batsmen are set, if he is put under pressure in the first circle regulation itself - then we'll have to see how he bowls. But overall, if you just ask me today, I think he bowled really well,” the skipper was cautious.