MSD blames injuries for nightmarish English summer

Cardiff, Sep 17 (IANS) India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni said that injuries to key players was the main reason behind his team's disastrous performance during the winless English summer.

Dhoni said he has never seen so many injuries taking place in a series in the last five years.

"To see 9-11 players get injured in one series has been shocking. In the ODI series we also did not have luck. If you look at the first two Tests, we were left with three bowlers. If your bowling starts looking weak, the pressure piles up on batsmen. You cannot carry a team consistently on just one department," said Dhoni after India lost the fifth and final ODI by six wickets.

"If Zaheer was there in the first Test, we could have pressed advantage in the second innings instead of relying on part-timers. It could have looked different. But it's important what we did. There is no point in sulking," Dhoni said.

Having suffered losses in both the Tests and the ODIs, Dhoni said his side won't be looking for revenge when England tour India next month for a five-match series.

"You should not have such a feeling. If you have revenge in your mind, you become desperate and start putting pressure on the whole side. It's better to stick to basics. We also would have to see how many of the 9-11 players who are injured are now fit and have played some matches. We have to see who all are available for selection," he said.

Asked if it was right to have allowed injured players selected in the side straightaway, Dhoni said: "It's tough. We have to exactly see what kind of injury it is. It is good if someone has some matches under his belt. But it's difficult because you need experience in a line-up. You try to balance it. You don't want your bowling department to look completely fresh."

On the loss in the final match, Dhoni blamed the conditions and injury to Munaf Patel.

"To have Munaf injured after four overs, broke the rhythm of our bowling. The ball was also getting very wet. This was the fifth time we lost the toss and it became very difficult for spinners," he reasoned.

Dhoni said England are a good side but not one of the best in the world.

"England are a very good side, irrespective of the format they are playing. As they play more and more cricket, they would get only better. But it's difficult to say if they are the best side. The top 3-4 sides are all good. They are among the best sides."

"In sub-continent, it might be different but they can still get the reverse swing to control the batsmen. England's batting line-up also looks settled. Broad and Bresnan can not only bowl fast and quick but they can also bat, which means England bats very deep," he said.


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