Nagpur, Oct 14 (UNI) Team India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni today candidly admitted that it was the inability of the bowlers to bowl at the death and fielders dropping catches ''that cost us the match and series against Australia''.
Dhoni, who was speaking to newspersons after India went down by 18 runs in the sixth one-dayer at the Vidarbha Cricket Association ground here, said, ''We could not build on the opening partnership given by Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly and this cost us the match''.
''We lost wickets at regular intervals after the opening wicket stand of 140 runs and then we could not stich together a partnership in the middle overs.'' He added.
Speaking about the series, Dhoni admitted that the team never performed well together, in all the departments. ''If the batting clicked then the bowling failed and vice-versa. If we have to win matches then we have to perform in all departments of the game over 100 overs, which we have not managed to do in this series''.
On the bowling attack, Dhoni was the first to say that the bowling at the death has been the problem for them and they are working on it to correct the same.
On his shuffling the batting order, Dhoni said that it happens sometimes and you have to learn to bat at any number for the benefit of the team. Today, it did not click so people are talking about it negatively, if it had clicked than everybody would have praised us.
Dhoni also did not feel that Dravid's lack of form was a worrying factor for them. ''All great players go through a form slump and it is the same with Dravid. I am sure he will get back his form sooner than later''.
Asked about him batting at number 3 as he has done before, Dhoni said ''At the moment I am not prepared to go in at number three, but I am practicing hard, and maybe when I am confident in the next series, you might see me go in at three. At the same time we should have someone who could bat at number 6, where I bat.'' Dhoni said the team neeos to improve its fielding. Australia save maybe 15-20 runs in the field and that gives them a huge advantage, while we give away 15-20 runs extra. ''But at the same time with the present team we have we should expect this standard of fielding only''.