India vs New Zealand: MS Dhoni says he will encourage batsmen to go for shots despite defeat
Poor shot selection contributed to India losing the fourth ODI against New Zealand on Tuesday, admitted captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni, but he sought to downplay it, saying youngsters in the team should not be deterred from going for big hits
Ranchi: Poor shot selection contributed to India losing the fourth ODI against New Zealand on Tuesday, admitted captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni, but he sought to downplay it, saying youngsters in the team should not be deterred from going for big hits. Dhoni said telling youngsters not to play big shots would lead to them going into a shell and it would not be good for their development.
"The No 5 and 6 (batsmen) are quite new, they will learn their own time. Some will play big shots, some will take it deep. Cricket has changed, people like to play big shots now," Dhoni said. "It is important to not tell them to stop playing the shots; you don't want them to go into their shells. They played their shots when the ball was in their area. They will learn after they have played 15-20 games. Once they have done so, they will figure out what works for them and they will serve (the country) for long."
India lost the fourth ODI by 19 runs, as the Kiwis levelled the five-match series 2-2. But instead of blaming the batsmen, Dhoni rued giving away too many runs in the first 10 overs of the New Zealand innings. Chasing 261 for a win, India could only score 241. "I think it was the first 10 overs, when we gave away a lot of runs and extras. I think (chasing) 230 runs could have been decent, but we could have chased 260 if we had wickets in hand," he said.
"(It was) Quite similar to Delhi where we kept losing wickets. Had there been wickets in hand we could have won. The wicket was best to bat on in the afternoon, and it kept getting slower and slower. The new ball under lights still came on, but as it got older it became difficult. Had we got partnerships and accumulated runs, we could have won," he added.
The Indian captain said that his side will have to be at their best in the final ODI in Visakhapatnam on Saturday. "Usually there is dew this time of the year, and in Indian cricket, the moment you talk about dew you want to bowl first. We will have to be at our best in the decider," he said.
He also said the team was not being over-dependent on star batsman Virat Kohli. "It's not like that. If you see in the last few months, we have not played much ODIs. In between we had Zimbabwe. It's very difficult. The statistics don't exactly reflect the exact scenario. Also I've batted at different positions in that period. Our top-order was batting brilliantly. So everything is very different," he said.
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