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Skipper Dhoni hits out at sloppy India

Captian Mahendra Singh Dhoni last night accused his batsmen of costing India victory in the CB Series group game against Australia in Adelaide. The tourists looked on course to take the win after Australia were restricted to a paltry 203 for nine on what looked like a good batting wicket.

But having been in control when on 115 for four, India’s feared batting line-up faltered, and they were eventually bowled out for 153 in the 42nd over.

And the India skipper slammed his batters saying they had let their bowlers down, especially given they gambled on an extra bowler when opener Virender Sehwag was ruled out of the match due to an injury.

“The bowlers did their job on a pitch that wasn’t doing much,” Dhoni said. “The batsmen should have taken more responsibility. We tried a few flashy shots. They have to take more responsibility, especially when you are playing with five bowlers and you are one batsman short.” India faltered early in their chase, losing three wickets for four runs to slump to 59 for four. But then Dhoni and the previously out-of-form Yuvraj Singh steadied the innings.

The pair put on 56 and appeared untroubled. However, the match again turned when Yuvraj miscued a loose Brad Hogg long-hop, and was caught in the deep by Stuart Clark for 26. It was a major setback for India and things got much worse when Dhoni, who was batting with a runner due to cramp, was run out for 37 just 19 runs later.

A hesitant Rohit Sharma, running for Dhoni, was caught just out of his crease at the non-striker’s end by a direct hit as India slumped to 134 for six.

Left-armer Mitchell Johnson bowled well to claim three for 42, all-rounder James Hopes did some early damage to finish with two for 16, while Ada  Gilchrist completed five dismissals.
Even though they won to all but secure another Tri-Nations finals spot, Australia’s captain Ricky Ponting could also not resist a dig at his own batting line-up last night.  However, he is sure that his side can get much better and lift the CB Series trophy. “We are not batting very well, but we are doing enough to win some games,” he said. “Once again our bowlers held us up and we were pretty sharp in the field and came away with a bonus point win. We haven’t played our best cricket yet, but we are still on top of the table and are winning games of cricket, which is a good sign.”

Only a Michael Clarke half-century helped the Aussies set a competitive target after winning the toss and electing to bat. Clarke made 79 from 108 balls in a man-of-the-match performance, but lacked support until Hogg chipped in with 32 in a 72-run seventh-wicket stand. And worryingly Ponting’s woes with the bat continued. The skipper came to the wicket with an obvious intent to get on top of the bowling with positive strokeplay, but Ponting made just ten before cutting the recalled Munaf Patel straight to Sharma at point.
Ponting’s tally for the series is shockingly just 53 runs at an average of 10.60.

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