Sending Raina at no 6 was a mistake: Dhoni

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Dhaka, Jun 15 (UNI) Team India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni has blamed his decision of sending in Suresh Raina ahead of himself for the defeat against arch-rival Pakistan in the Kitply Cup final here.

According to Dhoni, he took the decision in order to save ammunition for a final onslaught on the target in the final overs.

''I made a mistake. I should have come before Raina. That decision was taken in a positive frame of mind. If Yuvraj had played through, and Raina rotated the strike with singles, we would have been very comfortable at the end of the 40th over,'' he lamented. ''With me and Irfan (Pathan) coming later it would have been an easy target.'' Raina, who was sent in at number six, composed a steady 24 but got out when his partnership of 73 with Yuvraj Singh was beginning to flourish.

Attributing the debacle to the batsmen's inability to build solid partnerships, Dhoni said the lack of wickets towards the end made the job even more difficult.

''It was very important to see through to the last five or seven overs with wickets in hand,'' he said. ''It was a flat wicket. Even a target of 300 was chaseable if you had wickets in hand at the end.

We didn't get a very good start and kept losing wickets at regular intervals.'' ''At times you have to take a risk but (today), more often than not, the shots went straight to the fielder, who didn't have to move.

The selection of shots wasn't really appropriate but at the same time you have to play shots while chasing over six an over. So we kept losing wickets even though we were scoring and we never had the momentum with us,'' he added.

The Indian skipper praised the Pakistan batsmen for the manner in which they dominated the Indian bowlers.

''They were 100 for 1 after 25 overs,'' Dhoni said. ''After that they took on the bowlers and played some good shots. It really put the bowlers under pressure. And under the circumstances, we couldn't recover from that.'' He picked out Younis Khan, who smashed a century yesterday, for special mention.

''He (Younis) was scoring through square leg as well, he was sweeping,'' Dhoni said. ''You hardly have fielders in that zone, you know the country (the area between deep midwicket and long-on) area.

Having a long-on and a country is difficult. He was picking it from outside off and most of the times he cleared the boundary. He took on the bowlers and he was successful.'' UNI XC AB RKM NS1535

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