Kanpur, Oct 12: Indian captain MS Dhoni, who is under pressure after losing 3 matches in a row to South Africa, has taken the blame for the latest defeat to the visitors.
In the 1st ODI, India needed 11 runs to win in the final over bowled by 20-year-old paceman Kagiso Rabada at Kanpur's Green Park stadium on Sunday (October 11). Dhoni was on strike and many expected him to finish the game as he has done the past. (Ind-SA series guide)
But the script was a different one on Sunday evening. Rabada, who later admitted to have been under pressure bowling to Dhoni, emerged on top by taking 2 wickets in 2 balls (Dhoni and Stuart Binny). South Africa won by 5 runs, defending 303. This was after winning the preceding Twenty20 International series 2-0.
In the aftermath of this close loss, many felt Dhoni was not the same batsman as he was earlier. Yesterday too, he did not get his timing right and scored a not-so-impressive 30-ball 31 with just 1 boundary.
Speaking after the game, Dhoni accepted responsibility for not winning the game for India. "Yes when you bat down the order you have to take the blame. When you have finished a lot many games, people remember more about the games you have not finished," Dhoni said.
"It is a gamble (playing the role of a finisher). Sometimes it pays and sometimes it doesn't. But that is my role in the side. I remember one game England and one against Sri Lanka at Rajkot where I couldn't help the team win," he added.
Dhoni and his teammates will be aiming to bounce back in the 5-match series when the sides meet in Indore in the 2nd ODI on October 14 (Wednesday).