Bad start wrecked India''s chances: Dhoni

L Nandan

Durban, Jan 13 (PTI) Chasing 290 on the bouncy Kingsmeadtrack was always going to be a tough task, said Indian skipperMahendra Singh Dhoni after the humiliating 135-run loss toSouth Africa in the first ODI but insisted that the target wasgettable had the visitors not lost early wickets.

"We could have done better. When you are playing withfour bowlers, you are under a bit of pressure, that if one ofthe bowler don''t bowl well then you have to make those overswith the part timers. Fortunately in this game our part timersbowled really well and they brought us back into the game,"Dhoni told reporters here last night.

"But still chasing 290 runs was a stiff target especiallyon the Kingsmead track. If we would have got a good start thenwe could have fancied our chances," he added.

India lost four wickets for a mere 43 runs and Dhoni saidthe poor start put a lot of pressure on the lower half of thebatting order.

"Playing well against quality fast bowlers on new whiteball is going to be a huge challenge. This wicket had a bit ofbounce but it was not that quick a wicket. We could havenegotiated the first 8-10 overs and then could have gone forruns.

"But we lost couple of wickets earlier on and then againwe lost few in the middle overs. That put pressure on ourlower middle order," he said.

Asked whether going in with six batsmen was a gamble thatdidn''t pay off, Dhoni said, "we picked Rohit keeping in mindthe Kingsmead wicket. He played reasonably baddecision but it is just part and parcel of the game.

"He bowled and fielded well too. So you can always debateabout whether to go in with 6 specialised batters or 5specialised bowlers," he added.

Dhoni also defended the inclusion of Ashish Nehra in thesquad despite the pacer being short of match practice.

"Honestly speaking these are the four-five fast bowlerswe have got. We do not have many options to play with. So wehave to back them to do well. Whether they are in matchpractice or not what is important is that we take care ofthese bowlers and they should go in the World Cup without anyinjuries," he explained. (More) PTI LN PM SHN

Despite the heavy loss, Dhoni said the Indians will bounce back in the five-match series, the second game of whichis on Saturday.

"This question was asked when we had lost centurion test.

We can play better cricket than this. That way cricket is goodgame as in every match you start afresh. We have to click as aunit to win matches.

"We should bat with positive intent and try our best toget a good start. Talking about the wicket, it did change abit. Under lights the ball had a bit more bounce andmovement," he said.

Dhoni said Virat Kohli''s fighting half century was one ofthe positives he would take from the game.

"Virat batted well and our part timers bowled well. Itwas good to see Zaheer bowling well and Munaf too. Buttogether we have to click," he said.

The Indian skipper was also generous in his praise forrival medium pacer Lonwabo Tsotsobe, who grabbed four wicketsin the match.

"He is good and a different type of bowler. He bowls at130kmph speed but he gets bounce. He hits right areas," Dhonisaid.

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