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Youngsters can’t be told to curb big shots: Dhoni

Ranchi: Poor shot selection contributed to India losing the fourth cricket ODI against New Zealand here today, but captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni today sought to downplay it, saying that the youngsters in the team should not be deterred from going for big hits.

Dhoni said telling the youngsters not to play big shots would lead to their going into a shell and that will not be good for their development.

“The Nos 5 and 6 are quite new, they will learn their own way. Some will play big shots, some will take it deep. Cricket has changed, people like to play big shots,” Dhoni said after India lost the fourth ODI by 19 runs as the Kiwis levelled the five-match series 2-2.

“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 played 15-20 games, they will figure out what works for them and they will serve (for the country) for long,” he added.

Dhoni rued that giving away too many runs in the first 10 overs of New Zealand innings had an impact in the outcome of the match. India could only score 241 while chasing 261 for a win.

“I think it was the first 10 overs when we gave away a lot of runs and the extras. I think (chasing) 230 runs could have been decent, but we could have still chased 260 if we had wickets in hand,” he said.

“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 play their best in the fifth and final ODI in Visakhapatnam on October 29.

“Usually there is dew at 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.

PTI