New Delhi: Team India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni blamed the host’s poor batting for the narrow six-run loss to New Zealand in the second One-Day International (ODI) here on Thursday.
Chasing a modest 243, India were skittled out for 236 by a disciplined Kiwi bowling and an inspired fielding effort from the visitors.
Dhoni felt that India were never out of the reach of the target but losing wickets at regular intervals cost them the game.
“I feel this was one game where we lost wickets against the run of play, it was not that the deliveries were good, we just kept losing wickets. Until the end we had the run rate under control,” the Ranchi stumper said after the match.
“When you’re chasing you need to play 50 overs and at one stage it didn’t look like we would. I felt the NZ bowlers bowled really well… but we just kept losing wickets. I don’t think there was a lot of dew, it was not coming out to the bat.”
Hailing his bowlers, Dhoni specially mentioned the efforts of leg-spinner Amit Mishra, who took three wickets along with pacer Jasprit Bumrah.
“I think we bowled really well, after the new ball it was key to get reverse swing and put pressure on the batsman, (Amit Mishra) Mishy bowled well and got crucial wickets,” he said.
New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson, who was named the Man-of-the-Match for his brilliant 118, also credited his bowlers for the win.
“The wicket wasn’t easy to increase the scoring rate, at the halfway stage we were a few off where we wanted to be, a lot of credit to the way we bowled, to create pressure on that surface was key and Trent Boult was outstanding,” he said.
“The bowling was huge for us, we were below par but we did have enough runs to create a squeeze, dealing the with dew is never easy… the dew didn’t help the spinners and they did a great job, there wasn’t much turn but they did great for us.”
The 26-year-old also hailed the way India fought till the very end. “Seam bowling was easier to face on that surface. It was a good game of cricket, credit to India, they fought all the way,” he said.
Pacer Trent Boult, who took two crucial wickets, is “satisfied” with the bowlers for exerting pressure on the home batters during the match.
“Very satisfying, it’s a good sign to see the bowlers bowling well and putting the Indian batsmen under pressure.”
“I was trying to remain aggressive but give as little as possible in the 49th over… a lot of moisture out there all together, the wicket was holding up a touch, smart bowling, it proved very effective. Looking forward to Mohali.”
With the series levelled at 1-1, both the teams will face off in the third ODI at Mohali on October 23.