Hamilton:“Start using your brains more”, Indian skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni told his wayward bowlers after losing the ODI series to New Zealand.Lashing out at the bowlers, who have been wayward through the series which India lost 0-3 with one match to go, Dhoni said: “When it comes to talent, we definitely have bowlers who can do well. But at the same time they will have to start using their brains more and improvise themselves.
“(Mohd.) Shami is someone who has been quite consistent, apart from this series. Bhuvneshwar Kumar has been off this series but he’s a good bowler. At the end of the day they need to push themselves because with rule changes it is going to be quite tough. But it hasn’t been rule changes hurting us in this series, it has been bad bowling,” Dhoni said.
Dhoni said that his bowlers consistently bowled short and wide right through the series and gave away too many runs. “Frankly, our bowling was quite disappointing. This was a kind of wicket where one thing you don’t want to do is to bowl short and wide. I think we consistently did that with the new ball and the older ball,” Dhoni said.
“We often complain about the five fielders outside the circle, but when you bowl short and wide it doesn’t matter. I think the fast bowlers gave away too many runs. Talking about spinners, they bowled well and hit the right areas,” he added. Dhoni was also critical of his top-order batsmen who made the same mistakes of losing wickets at crucial intervals. “We committed the same mistakes when it comes to batting. We lost wickets at crucial time, which has been the case so far in this series,” he said after India lost the fourth ODI by seven wickets.
“But even then we were able to get close to 280-odd runs which I thought was good enough provided we bowled well on this wicket but that was not the case,” he said. The Indian skipper said losing wickets at the wrong time put pressure on the lower-order batsmen.
“We struggled at the top. I think the last game we got some kind of start going but this time game again we struggled. Once 10 overs are gone, we lost couple of wickets,” Dhoni said. India made a couple of changes to their side ahead of this must-win game, dropping both Shikhar Dhawan and Suresh Raina. Virat Kohli was asked to open the innings, while Ajinkya Rahane batted at number three. Ambati Rayudu played his first ODI since the Zimbabwe trip in mid-2013 and Stuart Binny made his India debut.
“We had to make these changes at some point. Raina was getting good starts but he was not able to convert those starts. Sometimes if you can take the individual away for a few games, he can relax and think freely about his game and that’s the reason why we rested both Shikhar (Dhawan) and Suresh Raina in this game,” Dhoni opined.