Australia v India, 4th ODI, Canberra January 20, 2016

My wicket was the turning point - MS Dhoni


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'My wicket was turning point' - Dhoni

India's captain MS Dhoni has taken the burden of responsibility for a traumatic defeat in the fourth ODI against Australia at Manuka Oval, admitting it was his wicket so soon on the heels of Shikhar Dhawan's departure that changed the complexion of the match.

For many years Dhoni has taken responsibility for bringing run chases to a successful conclusion, and his third ball duck at the hands of John Hastings allowed momentum to swing violently from India to Australia. His wicket combined with an inexperienced Indian lower order left the visitors 25 runs in deficit at the end of the night; Dhoni seemed unsurprised that the remainder of the batting had folded under the pressure of the occasion.

"I think it was my wicket because that specifically is my role in the team from that kind of position to make sure we finish off the game well," Dhoni said. "So my wicket really was the turning point at that point of time, we lost quite a few there but it was my wicket because according to the role and responsibility that everybody has, that specifically is my role.

"That's what pressure does to you. A few of them have not played much international cricket, so at times it seems when you're batting in the middle playing that big shot is the right thing to do, but slowly and with more games under your belt you realise that's a time you have to carry on some kind of a partnership, and once you get used to the pace and bounce of the wicket then you can play the big shots.

"Hopefully they will learn out of this, it's the first few games they've played and maybe it's the first time in their career that they were under some kind of pressure. Hopefully they're learning."

Ajinkya Rahane split the webbing in his right hand while fielding and required stitches. Dhoni said that the effect of anaesthetic had lingered, stopping Rahane from batting until some feeling returned. "That was also a factor," Dhoni said. "He had a few stitches and he had to take local anaesthesia, so we had to wait and push him down the order so he could get some feeling back in his hand then he could bat."

Despite the dimensions of defeat, Dhoni insisted he and his team would not be despondent about the 4-0 series ledger. Instead, he pointed to the fact India were a few overs from a record victory, and that some of the explosiveness shown by Dhawan and Virat Kohli was a healthy pointer towards the looming World T20 in March.

"After the first three losses also people were saying it's very difficult to come back, but I felt in this game we batted really well," Dhoni said. "It also gives a glimpse of what you may see in the T20s, a lot of flamboyant cricket.

"Definitely we are disappointed, but still you want to take the positives and if we had batted better than we did from when I got out, this game could have been over in the 46 or 47th over. You look at it that way, you don't want to sink into something negative."

Kane Richardson, who claimed 5 for 68 to seal India's fate, agreed about the importance of Dhoni's wicket, and also stated that the hosts had been sustained by memories of a 2014 ODI against South Africa at this ground, when a similarly confident start to a chase had given way to a rush of wickets and a comfortable Australian victory. A sprinkling of rain between innings, Richardson thought, had prolonged the most comfortable batting conditions.

"We kept telling ourselves that we just needed to get one of those two out that were going really well," Richardson said. "For John [Hastings] to get Shikhar and then MS within two or three balls I think changed the momentum especially with Rahane being injured, so that was a key moment in the game. He deserves a lot of credit, 2 for 50 on that wicket when they're chasing 340, these last two games he's really led the attack well.

"I think from ball one we were hoping that. I think the rain played a part in that, it kept it coming on quite nicely, and at one stage it looked like we were going to lose in 40 overs to be honest. Last year against South Africa they were chasing a similar score and doing it very similarly as well. I think we got Amla out and it changed the game, so in the back of our heads that's what it was, but it's easy to say and hard to do."

Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. @danbrettig

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Prashant on January 23, 2016, 1:05 GMT

    Cricket is a team game and aussie team weighed more than indian team. Dhoni is a tricky guy. He has loads of talent and is not less talented than smith but shows much less than smith. It's his mindset which is giving us so many defeats. Mr. S. Ganguly was much more daring. Cricket is a cruel game and is ridden with whole lot of luck. If you survive first 5 overs then your chances of accelerating and making huge score is v high. In my belief, smith, warner and maxwell are super-humans. I just think they are in a much better mind-set when compared to Mr. Dhoni. If I was Dhoni then I would step down and take a break and give the reins to someone who is in top mind-set - Kohli is right up there. I would get rid of Dhawan, B. Kumar G. Mann immediately. My line-up would be - Rohit Murli (Much more committed than dhawan) Kohli (cap) Saha (since ajinkya is injured) Manish (million times better than G. Mann) Dhoni (WK) Rishi (was super committed in last game) Axar Bran Ishant Umesh

  • Alex on January 22, 2016, 15:47 GMT

    @true_point if dhoni with all kinda experience and become clueless in overseas like million times and you want gurkerat and rishi dhawan to play responsibly?. Are you people dhoni fan boys?.

    I always believe people behave differently with different leaders. Bowlers play just enough and batsman do just enough when they can't trust their captain.

    Its not yadav, sharma, mann.rishi are bad. They made to look bad with poor leadership of dhoni.

    A good leader give their people a security blanket so they put 100% effort. Dhoni team , he expect every one to perform 100% and so he can take the credit. EVery player knows this and bowling is real physical work. Your salary is gone once you injured. Why work hard when captain is not demanding that much?.

    Dhoni always quick to blame bowlers. Who wants to play for him?. No one.

    Anyone blame these youngsters are just as clueless as dhoni.

  • ADARSH on January 22, 2016, 9:44 GMT

    Dhoni's wicket was a decisive moment but he should not be blamed.It is great of him to accept this defeat as his own responsibility to save the faces of lower order batsmen.Dhoni was OUT for duck but he did not suck out the momentum of the innings.The required runs were exactly 72 from 72 balls with 7 wickets in hand.We cant ask more from Kohli.But what about others?Gurkeerat and Rishi indeed played lamely.Inexperience is not an excuse.They played handful of List A and IPL matches and handled pressure before.If the situation was like to score 8 or 9 runs an over, such shots were justified.But they tried to be heroes.Yes, they will improve with maturity but blaming Dhoni solely for the loss is ridiculous.

  • Sathyanarayan on January 22, 2016, 9:33 GMT

    The blame has to go for the batsmen like Gurkeerat, Rishi Dhawan and Umesh Yadav. There is no excuse that they have not played international cricket. Even school kids play more responsibly as per the situation demands. The premature induction of players with less domestic experience and very less international exposure, is the result of such immature behavior. Umesh Yadav with some international experience should be condemned for such irresponsible shot selection. Sure Jadega should have talked to them to calm them down. But then that way even in the dressing room before they came to bat they should have been counselled. On top of it, these guys are not ready for any level of responsible cricket with these attitude of bravado. Was it not the exact reason why Shewag was dropped? Now you are trying to justify these two rookies.

  • Graham on January 22, 2016, 8:45 GMT

    India were still in a brilliant spot when Dhoni got out, however think that changed when Kohli got out.

  • Krishen on January 22, 2016, 7:02 GMT

    IND has produced many a great cricketers & top 5 would be Gavaskar, Kapil Dev, Sachin , Dravid & Dhoni( in order of making debut). IND has achieved great team performances between 1979 to 1986 and 2007 onwards due to great leadership qualities of Gavaskar / Kapil & Dhoni and excellence of Sachin & Dravid. During these periods IND has beaten top teams more often and won world titles. BCCI has managed IND cricket well but needs to reform for more consistent team performances & professional management. BCCI needs to take steps to involve great cricketers in management of Cricketing affairs without conflict of interest. This will be possible not through honorary positions but with handsome salaries. BCCI will do well to involve Gavaskar,Venkataraghavan, Kapil in top management with Sachin as Chief Selector & Rahul Dravid as batting coach. BCCI also needs to employ experienced coaches in fast bowling / fielding / fitness / mental toughness for National team & NCA.

  • Ajit Mehrat on January 22, 2016, 7:01 GMT

    lol rishi dhawan gurkeerat were supposed to b all rounder bt nw everyone will blame dhoni wow

  • Srinivas on January 22, 2016, 6:54 GMT

    Its not dhoni's wicket but Dhawan and Kohli's wickets are turning points. 5-0 is expected and dhoni should retire...

  • ESPN on January 22, 2016, 6:14 GMT

    Not your wicket?you should have allowed some other batsman . It's high time you retire

  • Guy on January 22, 2016, 6:12 GMT

    Not sure if Dhoni's comment is arrogance - his team can't win if he fails because his contribution is so important - or humility, by taking the responsibility for his teammates' collective failure. Either way, it was an extraordinary capitulation that suggests India's talent pool is limited to a few stars, and the rest are journeymen.

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