Indian ODI captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni admitted on Sunday that the historic loss against South Africa reassures the fact that the ODI team is not well settled at the moment.
South Africa posted 438 for four for India to chase in the series decider after Quinton de Kock, Faf du Plessis and captain AB de Villiers scored centuries to sum up the highest score ever conceded by India in ODIs. In their chase, Dhoni’s men were shot out for 224 in 36 overs and Dhoni admitted the team is in a tough spot.
“I know India is more about result, but at the same time you won’t always get the results if you are not looking into the process. It’s a tough situation,” Dhoni said in the post-match press conference.
“At the same time we are looking for solution. We have to try a few other things, because if you are doing the same thing, you will get the same result.”
Big-scoring S. Africa thrash India to win ODI series
South Africa followed up their T20 series victory with a 3-2 win in the five-match ODI series and Dhoni said the team needed to look at the bigger picture.
“We have to look at the larger (longer) picture. (Otherwise) may be you will win a series here and there. But to be consistent you have to have a settled team. To a lot of extent our team does not look to be that settled,” said Dhoni.
The World Cup winning captain was under a lot of pressure after he made a few changes to the batting order but he defended his decision aptly.
“You have to look at the venue, what kind of wicket is provided and accordingly you have to make changes. I have made a few changes in the batting order to see what gives more strength to our batting order, what looks like a very good composition when you are chasing. All these things you have to study,” explained Dhoni.
Dhoni also praised Stuart Binny as the best seam-bowling all-rounder the country has at the moment while he also counted Axar Patel and Ravindra Jadeja as the best spin bets for the country.
“We will keep talking we don’t have seaming all-rounders. We have tried Stuart. People have criticised that also, but if you look at all-rounders in India, who is your best seaming bowling all-rounder – it’s Stuart Binny – and the two best spinning all-rounders – Ravinder Jadeja and Axar Patel.
“Whether you like it or not these are our best seaming and spinning all-rounders and we have to make the best out of them,” he emphasised.
“We have been struggling with the seaming all-rounder. We feel our lower order batting is slightly on the lighter side when we play against good fast bowlers. Actually it puts lot of pressure on the top six batsmen, if you lose one or two early wickets then you have only three or four batsmen to play with as you can’t rely too much on your lower order.
“We have to find ways to see the best bowling composition for us, but at the same time not at the cost of being too light when it comes to bating. We have to address these problems.
“The good thing is we have time in our hand, but we have to find individuals who can fit into those slots and they have to start doing well. There are a few areas of concern. We have to find individuals who can handle playing pressure of international cricket. And once they are successful the job will become slightly easier,” Dhoni noted.
Dhoni, as always, also defended his medium pacers Mohit Sharma and Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who conceded 84 and 106 runs on Sunday.
“We have tried going for fast bowlers who can bowl quick, but realised they are giving away more runs and we are better off playing with people who are more into their line and length. Ideally Mohit should be your third seamer, but you have to mix and match as to who is your death bowler, who can bowl middle overs and who is your new ball bowler.
“We have tried a lot of different fast bowlers, who have not done really well for us. But at the same time when they go back and play Duleep Trophy or Deodhar Trophy or IPL, they are the ones who have done well.
“I think there’s a bit of difference between top first class cricket and international cricket. Overall we are off and on. We are lacking a bit of consistency when it comes to death bowling. There are days where we have done really well and there have been matches when we had given away lot of runs in the last ten.”
Dhoni’s quotes were originally published by NDTV