Kochi, Oct 2 (UNI) Team India captain M S Dhoni today admitted that his players had to improve their game in the middle overs to be more competitive in the ongoing ODI series against Australia.
Speaking to reporters after losing to Australia by 84 runs in the second ODI here, he said, ''In today's match, we got good starts in both batting and bowling, but did not fare well in the middle overs, which took the game away from us.'' There was a need to build up partnerships and rotate the strike, he added.
''After taking two quick wickets, we slowly lost the momentum as we gave away lot of runs after 30 overs and the Australian batsmen also played very well to put a good score on the board,'' the team India Skipper said.
''In batting also, we got a decent start, but after that we lost wickets at regular intervals and the tail enders were not able to play big shots to competitively chase the score,'' he said.
After the glory of the T20 cricket, the team was playing 'in the present' and putting all efforts in the one-day format of the game.
Asked about S Sreesanth's 'effort' to run out Andrew Symonds at the non-striker's end, Dhoni said, ''Initially, I thought it was a joke from the pacer, but later told Sreesanth that wicket can be taken in a proper way.'' He said Sreesanth was improving a lot after the South African tour and would become an excellent player in the years to come.
On the busy cricket season, Dhoni said players need to be rotated so that they do not break down and R P Singh's non-inclusion in today's playing eleven was on example of that lines.
He praised the Aussie players for their all-round performance in batting, bowling and fielding.
In a separate press conference, Australian Captain Adam Gilchrist said one-day match was an altogether different ball game, compared to T20 cricket.
Players like Symonds, Mathew Hayden, Brad Haddin and Brad Hogg played well to give victory to the team, he said.