Australia v India, World Cup 2015, 2nd semi-final, Sydney March 26, 2015

Dhoni concedes India done in by pressure of chase

ESPNcricinfo staff

'There is pressure when you're chasing 320 runs and we have seen in cricket that pressure makes you do things you don't really want to do' - MS Dhoni © Getty Images

Although he thought the total was "just over par," MS Dhoni said failing to capitalise on their early momentum in the chase and the lack of depth in their batting order contributed to India's semi-final exit at the World Cup.

Australia had amassed 328 - the highest total made in a World Cup semi-final - in Sydney on the back of a century from Steven Smith. India's reply had begun promisingly with the openers putting together 76 runs in 12.5 overs but when Australia found their first wicket - Shikhar Dhawan crunching a lofted drive into deep cover's hands for 45 - three more came their way in no time and India were 108 for 4 in the 23rd over and the pressure began to show.

"I felt we got off to a very good start. Shikhar's dismissal to some extent was slightly on the softer side because that was the time he could have milked the Australian bowling. He was scoring quite freely and with the open field, he should have just batted for a few more overs and he didn't really need to play a big shot.

"But overall, there is pressure when you're chasing 320 runs and we have seen in cricket that pressure makes you do things you don't really want to do"

Dhoni walked out with to tackle a run-rate on the wrong side of eight. India have been in such situations before having run down 15 targets above 300 - an ODI record - but there weren't too many weak links in a bowling line-up featuring Mitchell Starc, with a strike rate 16.7 and economy of 3.65, Mitchell Johnson, who appeared fiercer and faster today, and Josh Hazlewood, who hits nagging lengths. Dhoni, who made 65, progressed at a strike rate under 100 for 55 balls mindful of the lack of power-hitters down the order. Meanwhile, the required rate had gone into double-digits.

"There was too many to chase because if you lose quite a few wickets and if you are supposed to chase over six runs an over and also the fact that our lower order... I don't think they can contribute as much in these conditions," he said. "So it makes it further difficult, but overall I thought it was a good exposure to them and maybe the next time they play in other conditions they'll know how to bat in these conditions and will do much better.

"Our lower order slightly needs to work harder on their batting because most of the good teams bat quite deep and we have seen, especially in the knockout stages, you need to bat deep"

Despite a decent effort from the bowlers at the top and the tail of the Australian innings, Dhoni hoped his quicks could find a higher gear.

"Over 300 is a difficult score to chase, but I felt it was just over par. They were looking as if they were going to score over 340, or maybe 350 runs but we came back quite well. But I felt still we could have bowled well, the reason being, in the afternoon we got a bit of reverse swing going. I was a bit personally worried about the spinners, without any footmarks on a fresh wicket but I think their performance was good. But I felt the fast bowlers could have done slightly better.

"Overall, quite happy with where we were," he said. "At the start of the tournament, a lot of people didn't really think we'll come so far but at the same time when you come to the knockouts you have to lift your game"

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Venky on March 29, 2015, 17:01 GMT

    India was never going to win the world cup .... but, there were a few positives and negatives to take home +ves 1> For the first time after a long 'away' season, the team management began placing trust in his bowlers (so did I) 2> Our bowlers bowled their heart out and tried their best 3> Our fielding was very impressive

    -ves 1> We still do not have at least one match-winning genuine fast bowler. It is not very difficult to get one like Wahab Riaz. Our cricket administrators must stop politics and focus on getting the right thing done 2> Some of the celebrated top order batsmen are simply over-rated. Fans must stop glorifying them and allow them to focus on their game

  • Mohammed on March 29, 2015, 11:18 GMT

    Australia is for cricket what Germany is for soccer. An efficient team that produces result out sheer hard work and team game. No individual bears the brunt of responsibility it is shared by the whole team and the best part is that they talk the walk and then show you how to do it as well. All in all a superb display of all round cricket thoroughly deserving the trophy. In many ways they have done better than expected because besides the home advantage they were not considered as outright favorites. So well done Aussies and you have now reclaimed the right to sledge your opponents because like the great Mohammed Ali you do what you say and have the trophy to show for it, Congratulations to all Aussie players and fans alike.

  • Dummy4 on March 28, 2015, 23:11 GMT

    @SHIVA-CHEMIST Here are some interesting things for you. They have won a record 4 world cups. West Indies, South Africa, England and SHOCK HORROR India. For a man who thinks they are like India, Great at home and thats all that is a STAT worth mentioning. As for winning this one at home they are in for a lot tougher fight that there semi against a team that ALWAYS struggles against the better teams away from home.

  • Shiva on March 28, 2015, 7:20 GMT

    @NOTHINGNESS, every team is so strong in their home condition. Australia is no exception when they are playing in their home. You know? Australia won only 2 games out of 8 played in India in the last 5 years.If you check the records of both Australia & India in the last 5 years, there is not much difference. India is playing equally well. Many people and former cricketers are still under an illusion that Australia is a far superior side to other teams. What a short memory they have! Of course, it was (a few years back) but not in recent years. I can show you some interesting stats to prove that:

    In the last 5 years, Australia won 19 matches and lost 21 out of 45 (Tied-1; NR-4) in the overseas conditions.

    Similarly, India won 26 and lost 28 out of 60 (Tied - 2; NR - 4) in overseas.

    So, not much difference. The space is really closing up between two teams.

  • Dummy4 on March 28, 2015, 4:21 GMT

    Everyone seems to forget that australia were just about making 300 when our man Dhoni for some weird reason decides to give the penultimate over to Shami (who's not bowled well in the last spell of two overs) and not Yadav (who has taken 4 wickets in the match!!!) and then he decides for some odd reason to not even give yadav the 50th over!! Why o why can someone please tell me will you give bowler taking wickets his full quota of overs!!! - Forever the defensive strategy by our Captain- Australia wouldn't have made it to 300 if yadav would have finished them off or taken a wicket more. But no Dhoni would rather bowl Jadeja to get in quick overs rather than play aggressive and get more wickets...

  • nischal on March 27, 2015, 19:22 GMT

    Strange nobody is mentioning CHOKE. Too often other teams get labelled as chokers without due consideration of its meaning. Here is an example of a CHOKE. With victory possible pressure causes a loss.

  • Dummy4 on March 27, 2015, 19:04 GMT

    At the SCG even Sri lanka allowed Aussies to get 376 .Indian bowlers did well to restrict them to 328. It was up to the batsman to apply themselves and get those runs. But they took chances against the ruthless bowling and fielding unit like Australia, Ultimately paid the price.

  • Mohan on March 27, 2015, 18:42 GMT

    329 runs in 300 balls. If you count on some wides (may be about 10 an inning when fast bowlers bowl) and no balls, you are talking about 310 deliveries at least, which means just a shade over 1 run a ball. There will be at least 30 loose balls and with 25 for 4's and 5 for 6's, you have 130 runs, leaving 199 runs in 280 balls. Very simple. Dhawan and Kohli need some math lessons. I am leaving out Raina here because he is generally good but Australian attack is too much for his skills

  • shaizan on March 27, 2015, 18:09 GMT

    Really and truely we only had 4 proper batsman, if its ok to term Dhawan as one. Raina and Dhoni are finishers not playmakers. Knowing that the next man in is Jadeja puts addtnl pressure on the batsman and the fans alike. We really need to find a player who has the capability and power to hit those big shots. When needed. I mean who is going to be intimidated by Jadeja. Like really? I have tried really hard to accept Rahane as an ODI batsman but I just cant seem to wrap my head around it. I mean if it were the 90's Rahane would be in the top 10 batsman in the world. His batting style does not invite too much confidence in ODI. It may be too early to write him off but going by the evidence on hand I have no other opinion. To summarize it all. Our bowling unit is starting to shape up nice. We really need to sort out the opening combo. One of them has to go. Rahane should stick to TEST cricket and Sir Jadeja can just keep on playing IPL.

  • shaizan on March 27, 2015, 18:09 GMT

    There is nothing "GREAT" or "STRONG" about the Indian batting line-up barring Kohli and Dhoni. Our batting line was strong when it read 1- Sehwag 2- Gambhir 3- Tendulkar 4- Kohli 5- Yuvraj 6-Raina 7-Dhoni. I am not saying this is not good. They are just average, again barring Kohli and Dhoni. Our opening partnership lacks the aggression it once used to have. In the past we had Sehwag going bananas on the bowlers and Gauti nicely rotating the strike. Our current openers are both extremely slow off the blocks. They both take forever to get going. This partnership does not compliment each other period. Shikar and Rohit are both mediocre players. We could have compensated for this if had fire power in our lower order. I mean who even thinks that Jadeja can do the job that Dhoni has done for us in the past.

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