Dhoni slams 'disappointing' batting, puts onus on seniors
Humiliated at home for the second straight time in less than a month, India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni blamed his batsmen and termed their performance "disappointing". His Pakistan counterpart Misbah-ul-Haq, , meanwhile, credited the pace trio of Umar Gul, Junaid Khan and Mohammad Irfan for the team's first ODI series win in India since 2004-05.
Indian skipper M.S. Dhoni on Thursday blamed another "disappointing batting performance" for the loss against Pakistan in the crucial second one-dayer at the Eden Gardens here, which allowed the visitors to take an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match series.
"Our bowlers did well to restrict them to 250 runs but our batting was disappointing. The key was to keep wickets in hand but we could not do that, which cost us the match," Dhoni said post the 85-run loss to Pakistan.
Putting onus on the "senior batsmen", the skipper rued that his batters failed to soak in the pressure and consolidate the innings.
"When the seniors, the experienced guys are not performing, it puts pressure on the juniors. It is important that the seniors stand up and take responsibility as also guide the juniors."
"While chasing, we lost too many wickets and with nearly 180 of the last 30 overs required, we were never in the game. The need was someone standing up and soaking up the pressure and consolidate the innings. Unfortunately we failed to do so," said Dhoni.
He also said that the Pakistan target of 250 was "chaseable" and credited his bowlers for their effort.
"Our bowlers bowled well to bring us back in the game and restricted them to 250. It was a chaseable target but our batsmen failed to apply. As a batsman, you need to keep out the good balls and if you are not able to do that you lose your wicket," he said.
Dhoni though refused to put the blame on any single individual and conceded it was tough facing the media after repeated losses.
"It is a difficult time for us but we cannot blame any individual. It is team sport and the whole team needs to take the responsibility. We need to be calm and take decisions accordingly. After the loss we are all emotionally charged and it is not the right time to take any decisions," added Dhoni.
250 was not a winning total, says Misbah
Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq, meanwhile, credited a team effort with a special mention for his bowlers after his team won the crucial second one-dayer at the Eden Gardens here to take an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match series against India.
"Our opening batsmen gave us a fantastic start and our bowlers bowled really well to take quick wickets at crucial intervals, which allowed us this victory. Victory against India is always big and surely this is a big victory for us," Misbah said in the post match press conference.
He was, however, critical of his middle order for their failure to capitalise on the 141-run opening partnership and conceded that Pakistan target of 250 runs was chaseable.
"After the opening partnership, 290-300 was always on the cards. The pitch was good but our middle order failed to capitalise. The target of 250 was not a winning total. The middle order did not play the way it should have."
"We knew we will have to fight and our bowlers performed well to get quick wickets. The bowlers not only took quick wickets at crucial intervals but also were able to contain the Indian batsmen which put them under pressure," said Misbah.
He was all praise for his young pacers Mohammad Irfan and Junaid Khan and also credited seasoned performers Saeed Ajmal and Umar Gul, who as bowling unit performed "exceptionally well".
Special mention, however, was reserved for opening batsman and Man-of-the-Match Nasir Jamshed, who scored a classy 106 and, of course, the Eden Gardens.
"Fantastic crowd, I enjoy playing here, it's something you don't have in any other ground in the world," were Misbah's words about the venue where Pakistan are yet to lose an ODI against India.