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Dhoni defends Yuvraj’s selection ahead of Sehwag

Yuvraj Singh may have squandered yet another chance to impress but his captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni insists he has not made any mistake by picking the out-of-form left-hander ahead of swashbuckling opener Virender Sehwag.

Going through a prolonged slump in form, Yuvraj on Sunday contributed 26 and looked in discomfort before Brad Hogg removed him.

Talking to reporters after India lost the match against Australia by 50 runs, Dhoni said Sehwag had not fully recovered from a back strain and he also made it clear that Yuvraj, despite his woeful form, would play in the remaining matches as well.

“Viru was not fully fit. As for Yuvraj, he would be part of the team and play in all the games,” Dhoni asserted.

Having declared Yuvraj to be his choice for the rest of the series, Dhoni proceeded to defend his dismissal as well.

“The shot was on. He had to punish the bad ball. The execution perhaps might have been incorrect but the intention was true,” he said of his deputy.

Dhoni, however, questioned the batsmen’s ability to take responsibility and their shot selection as well.

“The batsmen needed to be more careful about their shot selection…lack of patience could be one factor. Our batsmen failed, they need to stick to their style and play responsibly,” Dhoni said.

“They have done it in bits and pieces but they need to get better,” he added.

India lost four wickets by the 15th over and Dhoni termed it a critical error on the part of his batters.

“The first 10-12 overs with Kookaburra is important and without Brett Lee, it was important to keep wickets.

“If we had wickets in hand, we would have won easily. It gets easier when the ball is getting old. Then if you have wickets, it gets easy,” he said.

One of Dhoni’s decision, sending Irfan Pathan up the order at number three, did not quite impress but the captain was adamant on his choice.

“Sending Irfan up the order, if he bats at number three or eight, does not make much of a difference. It’s all about using the talent you have got. I was quite happy with the batting order.”

Dhoni termed his own run-out as crucial in terms of the game’s context.

“The turning point was my run-out…it just started a day after the Lanka game but fortunately it’s not a tear.”

Dhoni applauded his bowlers and hoped his batters would complement them in days to come.

“You don’t expect anything more from the bowlers. They have been brilliant in the event so far.

“It’s the batsmen who have to be selective and successful. They have to learn from the mistakes they have made. They have done it on and off. Now it’s a matter of being consistent,” he said.

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