Fort Lauderdale (US): They were hammered all over the park but Indian skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni feels his bowlers were not all that bad on what was a “batters’ paradise” in the first Twenty20 against West Indies which his team lost by a run here.
Put in to bat, West Indies raced to 199/1 after 15 overs but India recovered well in the final five overs by conceding just 46 runs and scalping five wickets in the process. Dhoni praised the effort of his bowlers at the death.
“If we can improve how we bowl in the first six overs. In fact it was in the first 12 overs where we gave away too many runs. I was very happy how we brought down the opposition when it came to the last eight overs and that really matters because that was something we have been struggling consistently,” he said.
“It was a good exposure to our bowlers and they finished off well and because of which we could actually restrict them (Windies) to 245 and there was a point we thought they would be looking to get 270 and even more,” he added.
Dhoni, however, said his bowlers would need to adjust quickly and reassess their game plan in a scenario where the opposition batsmen were going after them by raining fours and sixes, just like the West Indians did.
“As a bowler you have to assess the conditions and change your gameplan to some extent. Normally on a good wicket, let’s say if I am bowling four overs and get hit for 40 runs and get one or two wickets, that is good enough. So, you have to assess what is good bowling analysis on this wicket and maybe since everybody got hit, it seemed a four-over 50 and if you get two or three wickets you have a plus,” he said.
“It is a difficult one to judge. But overall, yes to some extent it was a batters’ paradise. Lots of sixes were scored, in fact there was more sixes than boundaries and so it was tough on the bowlers, but still the bowlers that got hit with lesser number of sixes ended up at the winning side.”
Dhoni rued that his “wrong” execution of the shot off the final delivery prevented his side from achieving what could have been a world record run chase ever.
Needing two runs off the last ball bowled by Dwayne Bravo to win the first T20I, Dhoni sliced a slower ball only to get caught by short third man fielder Marlon Samuels as India lost the match by one run.
“In the last ball, thinking was right but execution was wrong and in a sport like cricket execution really matters,” Dhoni said after India ended at 244 for 4 while chasing 246 for a win at a belter of a pitch on a small ground here.”