Disappointed with Loss, But Lot of Positives: Dhoni

Chennai, Sep 12 (IANS): India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni was disappointed with the team's one-run loss to New Zealand in Tuesday's Twenty20 international ahead of the World Twenty20 starting next week in Sri Lanka but said that it was not a worrying sign for the 2007 champions.

Dhoni said though the match didn't go according to plan but the good form of Virat Kohli and Lakshmipathy Balaji were good signs ahead of the T20 World Cup.

"As far as the team's mood is concerned, quite disappointed with the loss but lots of positives from this game. The match didn't go exactly go according to the plan. But I think overall it was a good game. The fast bowlers gave us a very good start," he said.

The India captain said the way Balaji, who made his comeback to international cricket after three years, bowled in the death overs was a big plus for the team.

"McCullum batted really well in the middle overs where he took our spinners on and made it quite difficult for us. After that Balaji bowled really well in death overs. That's a plus for us.

"Zak (Zaheer Khan) bowled well. Of course Irfan gave us those breakthroughs which were really important. To start off Virat had to open and I think he batted really well. It was good to see Yuvraj Singh come back and score some runs. And all these things were the positives but of course in this format it can happen," he said.

Dhoni said he tried everything but there was nothing he could do differently to avoid defeat.

"What should've been done is very difficult to assess now. We used all the bowlers and I didn't want to use an off-spinner because the ball was coming on nicely. I tried everything," he said.

Dhoni said he didn't experiment new things in the solitary outing ahead of the T20 World Cup.

"This was not an experiment. Viru was not fit so we had to make Virat open the innings. He (Sehwag) will come back into the side. It was important to see how Balaji was playing.

"He has done really well in the IPL season. Death overs have been a concern for us so we wanted to see who are our best bowlers. With Irfan, they are fighting for a slot. If Irfan is not playing, the balance of the team goes a bit haywire. I think Bala bowled really well in this game."

Dhoni also backed underfire Rohit Sharma, who failed to hit a four off the last ball that was required for India's win.

"We planned to keep it till the end. We had two set batsmen. We reached a good position in the end but sometimes it doesn't work out. Rohit Sharma is among the big hitters that we have got down the order. With four runs from one ball you need the team's big hitter to take it on. Unfortunately he was not able to strike," he said.


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