India v England, 1st ODI, Hyderabad October 15, 2011

Losing-streak lasted too long - Dhoni

ESPNcricinfo staff

MS Dhoni has said India's 126-run victory in Hyderabad was an important one as their losing-streak had lasted a bit too long and they needed to start enjoying the game again. India had not managed a single international win on their recent tour of England, and had lost all four Tests and three ODIs.

"It's important to win games," Dhoni said after the match in Hyderabad. "If you're not winning games, you don't enjoy playing cricket and our losing streak was a bit too long. We actually played quite well during the ODIs in England and our batsmen got us the runs. But the rain there made it hard for our spinners to grip the wet ball and the seamers too were easy to score of since the ball would come on to the bat better after it rained. Tonight there was no dew and our bowlers showed that they can win us games if the conditions are in their favour."

A lot of the runs that India scored in the ODIs in England were contributed by Dhoni himself, and he continued that form in Hyderabad, scoring his fourth half-century in as many one-day innings. He said his innings of 87 from 70 balls was a calculated one in that he went for some lofted strokes through the off side that he doesn't play as much since remodelling his game to be a steadying influence on the middle order at No. 6.

Dhoni started his innings on Friday slowly, getting to five of 18 balls before he got his first boundary. He then targeted the off side, hitting eight of his ten fours through there, including a couple of lofts through extra-cover.

"I normally don't believe in rating my performance but yes this innings is a precious innings for me," he said. "Once I started batting at No 6, I had remodelled my game but this innings of mine was a very well calculated one. It was not easy to rotate strike in the middle overs particularly when Graeme Swann was bowling. It was important to just get through that phase.

"I tried a lot of aerial shots which I normally don't play nowadays. I have been practising hitting over the cover region and I felt this was the right match to try that out and it worked well."

After Dhoni's innings had helped India reach 300, Ravindra Jadeja and R Ashwin sparked an England collapse. While praising his bowlers, Dhoni was also mindful of the role dew would play in the series, and said though the lack of dew in Hyderabad on Friday was a big help to his bowlers, they couldn't rule out there being dew at other venues, which is why picking the right combination and making the right choice at the toss would be tricky.

"The timing of this series is wrong. Had it been in April or May, there'd be the guarantee of no dew and most of the wickets would turn a lot and the fast bowlers too could use their slower ones to be effective. But now, it's the beginning of winter so it's hard to predict whether there will be dew or not.

"Last night [Thursday] there was quite a bit of dew here but today there wasn't. If we were playing in November or December we could blindly field first knowing the ball would be hard to grip in the evening. But now it's tricky and some decisions may go wrong. Also, we will probably have to stick with three quicks and two spinners because if there is dew then it will be hard to manoeuvre three spinners."

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  • Dummy4 on October 18, 2011, 12:40 GMT

    India were abysmal in england.. england were pathetic in the 2 odis played so far....end of the story..sick of the excuses the fans r givin here.

  • Dummy4 on October 18, 2011, 9:12 GMT

    why are you peopl earguing about the conditions? if u say the indians do well only on the flat pitches of the subcontinent then all the teams they play against also play on the same belters..and LOSE to india! instead of saying "oh india's plays well only at home iin the subcontinent" sit back an think why the other teams FAIL on flat batting pitches!

  • Srinivas on October 17, 2011, 21:52 GMT

    @5wombats, sorry. I didn't realise. On a serious note, I don't agree with some of the things said by my countrymen, I do feel that England have themselves to blame for getting it wrong from selection (absence of Bell) to application (poor shots) and not having the focus (remember how focused Broad was in the summer?). They need to understand that they are playing in the backyard of a very tough team that was badly wounded in England. It is very important that they get their basics right. Everytime.

  • Martin on October 17, 2011, 19:32 GMT

    @Dravid_Gravitas - couldn't you tell I was joking? I am taking the mickey out of the oh so many excuses I read from india fans during the English Summer. You read them too - you know what I'm talking about.

  • Dummy4 on October 17, 2011, 16:00 GMT

    Its the playing conditions which favor Indians more than a better show. India is always vulnerable on seaming and pacy pitches. They are always better in home conditions. Spinners won the match which they could not do in England because of unfavorable conditions.

  • Srinivas on October 17, 2011, 8:05 GMT

    @5wombats, hot humid conditions led to their collapse? Lol mate! That's some kind of unique excuses I heard of in recent times. Temperature felt like in low to high 80s with a humidity between 40 to 58% and a steady nice breeze between 3 to 8mph (courtesy the weather channel)! And those kind of moderate weather conditions led to the English batsmen falling like a pack of cards? That was hilarious mate! Well, either the English need to condition their bodies properly or you are showing some unique excuses. Well, I'm sure that the English are a very fit bunch (unlike some Indian players) and that the 'hot and humid' conditions you are talking about is not the reason that England lost. That would be called a lame and hilarious excuse. If it was in 40s to 50s (Celsius), I would concure with you. Simple, not all of the English batsmen have the skill sets to play on the challenging spinning tracks of India. They should get in Ian Bell, a complete player, ASAP.

  • Dhaval on October 17, 2011, 7:28 GMT

    I am kind of loving this guy 5wombats, poor Pom fan seems to be laughing at every comments against England. Come on guys, let poor fan be happy about Eng's scuccess in last series. His so called World Best team who enjoys playing maximum number of ODI world cups at their own back yard is yet to win one. So ofcourse any success against rank 1 team for two years is like christmas. Well just to give some more stats about Eng, the 2005 Ashes was hard fought which Eng managed to win by margins of few runs at times. Aus has never been able to come so close to India in India since very long. India has defeated Eng in Eng in tests in this decade only. Reverse must have happened before two decades i guess. Eng won ashes in Aus sans Matt Hyden and many more gr8s. And still ENG boasts about being best???? Well i must say India is much better at home than Eng atleast. Plz post this comments cricinfo you did it for my dear Pom fan 5wombats when he begged about it,,, luv u 5wombats!!!

  • Sanjeev on October 16, 2011, 13:11 GMT

    There you Go..Aussies again claiming to the best. Grow up aussies. Aus can not win even at home, ha ha ha. Last year they lost 2-0 to Ind in India and 3-1 to Eng at home. Your time is up now, your team was THE BEST between 1995-2007. BUT now, its either India, SA or England. India is The best and going to rule for next 20 years at least. We have incredible batsmans, exiting young talents like Rohit Sharma, Suresh Raina, Virat Kohli, Cheteshwar Pujara, Unmut Chand, Ajinkhya Rahane, Varun Aaron, Umesh Yadav, Rahul Sharma, and the list goes on and on. Yes what about Suresh Raina, yes he struggled in England in the last series, but he was one of the best player in previous series (WI, AUS...). He is an incredible talent, mark my words, he will finish his career as one of the Greats of the game. Cook struggled against aussies in 2007, Steve waugh was the worst player against short pitch bowling, he finished his career as one of the greats.

  • Nitin on October 16, 2011, 12:00 GMT

    @king jayesh- :O dhoni haunting team india? common dude, he lost his first series in england. Dhoni taking credit? then you don't know that he is one captain, who never takes credit for anything...and if you don't have knowledge of cricket,why commenting then? if he hadn't pormoted himself in world cup final story could have been completely different, as we all know how deadly murali could have been against yuvraj and raina! he can't bat outside india?? Mr. he scored the maximum no of runs in the recent one day series in england...from both teams combined....he hasn't proved anything?? Ah! give me a break, i would rather say he has nothing left to prove now, especially in front of sadistic losers like you! give the credit where it is due, but i guess you never can!

  • ajith on October 16, 2011, 11:28 GMT

    lol@wombats and others; quit trying to show up indians as good only at home. It is probably the same for all other nation. yes, england included. I do understand the feeling though; england is no.1 in tests, they played well enough for that. in england and in a win here and there. pretty much the same as india, in india, sl and a few good wins in aus and sa and eng. but till a team actually wins regularly .. dont bother with the no.1 status.

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