Sri Lanka v India, 2nd ODI, Hambantota July 24, 2012

Pace of pitch, not rashness, cost India - Dhoni

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It was that kind of day for India. The first ball Virat Kohli chased outside off stump, he edged to the wicketkeeper. The first ball Rohit Sharma inside-edged, he played on. Ditto Suresh Raina. Virender Sehwag departed courtesy an outstanding return-catch by Thisara Perera. Before they knew it, India were 41 for 4. Soon, before the floodlights had come on in the Hambantota jungle, India had been bowled out for 138 in 33.3 overs, their fourth-lowest ODI total in the past five years. The three lowest have also come in Sri Lanka.

This is more or less the same line-up that had made 330, 289, 304 and 321 in its previous four innings before this series. This was the same ground on which India had made 314 three days ago. Thisara Perera had gone for 70 runs in that game. Today, his figures read 3-3-0-3 at one stage. Had Angelo Mathews not put down MS Dhoni at first slip, they would have read 3-3-0-4. It was that kind of day for India.

What a difference playing on an adjacent pitch on the same ground can make, which is what MS Dhoni said was responsible for India's batsmen doing what they did. "The pitch was next to the wicket we played on last time but it behaved in a completely different way," Dhoni said. "Initially the wicket was slightly on the slower side. Once Virat [Kohli] got out we lost a couple of more wickets very quickly. Before the batsmen could assess the wicket, we lost two wickets played on. I thought after that it was too much for batsmen like Irfan [Pathan] and Ashwin to come in and take us out of trouble."

Mahela Jayawardene, though, did not think the pitch played as big a role in India's capitulation. "The wicket I don't think was that bad," Jayawardene said. "Probably a touch slower, there were quite a few good balls as well. We bowled in good areas, created pressure, maybe couple of bad shots as well but I will take that any day. The important thing with the Indian batting line-up is picking up wickets and that's the only way we can control things and that is what we did today."

Dhoni, who was caught behind trying to force a not-so-short and not-so-wide ball off the back foot, did not think the strokes attempted by the India batsmen were reckless; he felt they were just unfortunate to be dismissed in the way they fell. "I don't think they were shots that were really rash. People were looking for singles. If you see Rohit's ball [the one off which he was dismissed], the shot was on. But he got an inside edge and it went onto the stumps. It could have been his lucky day if it hadn't hit the stumps and he was still there to carry on with his innings. It is part and parcel of the game and a big learning curve. Hope the batsmen learn and they assess the wicket very quickly [in the next game]."

India have been dismissed for 103 and 88 in Dambulla before and Dhoni was asked whether those conditions were comparable to Hambantota. "I don't think it was very similar because what usually happens in Dambulla is, if it is a day-night game, the second half becomes very difficult [for the batsmen]. The last time we played there, it [the pitch] was a bit spongy; before that, it usually used to keep a bit low and still [the ball] used to move around a lot.

"Over here the wicket was slightly different, it [the ball] was stopping before coming on. I don't think there was too much swing for the bowlers, though there was a bit of breeze - meaning you can swing it a bit - but nothing unusual. I just thought the pace of the wicket was not really coming onto the bat and that's the reason why we lost too many wickets initially."

Dhoni said, overall, he was happy with the team's showing in the two games in Hambantota. "The boys adjusted well to the conditions whether it was the bowling or the batting department. Today the performance wasn't so good but still, the kind of wind we faced here was the kind that one usually gets to see in Wellington in New Zealand. I think given the amount of time we had, we adjusted pretty well. So I am quite happy, [it was a] decent performance.

"Slowly and gradually you will see all the youngsters learning, especially about the importance of the middle overs, because that is where most of the cricket is played - right from the 15th-20th over, onwards till the 40th over."

Abhishek Purohit is an editorial assistant at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • on July 26, 2012, 20:05 GMT

    hahahahahahaha...what a excuse...grow up Mr Dhoni...u r leading a national side not a gilli danda side...tomorrow if u drown in a river, would that be rivers mistake?...

  • azamscar on July 26, 2012, 16:50 GMT

    i wonder what will be the response of the pitch maker for the next match. well he got lot of tips from Dhony

  • Tusker17 on July 26, 2012, 15:15 GMT

    Dhoni sounds like a whining adolesent!

  • sidh78 on July 26, 2012, 13:48 GMT

    dhoni admit that we played bad that day.it can happens with any team in world.so no need to give such excuses.yes i belive in team india,it can be bounce back.so think 4 next one day.good luck

  • rogun on July 26, 2012, 10:33 GMT

    Mr Dhoni, if the teams are provided ideal pitches all the time, don't you think cricket would be a very boring affair??? You seems to suggest that the two teams were given two different pitches to play on.....come on...grow up....and stop whinning!!

  • on July 26, 2012, 10:04 GMT

    So, Sri Lanka played different pitch due to Mr Dhoni??

  • on July 26, 2012, 9:48 GMT

    Maximum 11 players for the team, but 1.5 billion selectors..poor MS.

  • Sinhabahu on July 26, 2012, 9:21 GMT

    LOL! He has no shame to blatantly blame the pitch like this. Is he implying that India can only win on flat tracks? My my, what a surprise!

  • Prats6 on July 26, 2012, 8:22 GMT

    Come On MS, A WC Winning Skipper saying this? How lame is that? We played bad cricket we lost. Stop making excuses, we Indians are absolute kings in that!

  • dexionbt on July 26, 2012, 7:28 GMT

    There's the stupid comments from Dhoni - My boy how did Sri Lanka Play on the same pitch. Stop these stupid excused and accept that the Indian team could not adapt to the batting requirements of playing each ball on its merit and failed in this match . Win or Lose Play like a Man and accept the facts and do not hide behind pitches etc , when the other team has proved otherwise. Get wise Dhoni and do not spoil your name.

  • on July 26, 2012, 20:05 GMT

    hahahahahahaha...what a excuse...grow up Mr Dhoni...u r leading a national side not a gilli danda side...tomorrow if u drown in a river, would that be rivers mistake?...

  • azamscar on July 26, 2012, 16:50 GMT

    i wonder what will be the response of the pitch maker for the next match. well he got lot of tips from Dhony

  • Tusker17 on July 26, 2012, 15:15 GMT

    Dhoni sounds like a whining adolesent!

  • sidh78 on July 26, 2012, 13:48 GMT

    dhoni admit that we played bad that day.it can happens with any team in world.so no need to give such excuses.yes i belive in team india,it can be bounce back.so think 4 next one day.good luck

  • rogun on July 26, 2012, 10:33 GMT

    Mr Dhoni, if the teams are provided ideal pitches all the time, don't you think cricket would be a very boring affair??? You seems to suggest that the two teams were given two different pitches to play on.....come on...grow up....and stop whinning!!

  • on July 26, 2012, 10:04 GMT

    So, Sri Lanka played different pitch due to Mr Dhoni??

  • on July 26, 2012, 9:48 GMT

    Maximum 11 players for the team, but 1.5 billion selectors..poor MS.

  • Sinhabahu on July 26, 2012, 9:21 GMT

    LOL! He has no shame to blatantly blame the pitch like this. Is he implying that India can only win on flat tracks? My my, what a surprise!

  • Prats6 on July 26, 2012, 8:22 GMT

    Come On MS, A WC Winning Skipper saying this? How lame is that? We played bad cricket we lost. Stop making excuses, we Indians are absolute kings in that!

  • dexionbt on July 26, 2012, 7:28 GMT

    There's the stupid comments from Dhoni - My boy how did Sri Lanka Play on the same pitch. Stop these stupid excused and accept that the Indian team could not adapt to the batting requirements of playing each ball on its merit and failed in this match . Win or Lose Play like a Man and accept the facts and do not hide behind pitches etc , when the other team has proved otherwise. Get wise Dhoni and do not spoil your name.

  • on July 26, 2012, 7:19 GMT

    Tired of seeing my team go down series after series....many people cry foul over Tendulkar not giving way to youngsters. That's a joke for me because when he is not around, what the so called 100+ ODI experienced "youngsters" do :( Anyways, Dhoni is not fully wrong here because as a collective unit when you fail, there has to be something to blame in front of media. Unfortunately, the bad pitch excuse is repeated too often. ADMIT THAT YOU LOST BUT AT LEAST GIVE PROPER FEEDBACK. Atleast, we, the fans, will have something to think for.

  • jay_vkjay on July 26, 2012, 6:57 GMT

    It's just an off day for India,just forget it and that's all. Sehwag was out with a fantastic return catch,but all other top order batsmen excluding Gambhir, just didn't try to stick there for a while.Instead they played some 'crazy' shots and found themselves out.It happens when a man in such rich vein of form(Virat Kohli) gets out early. I think it must be the end of Rohit Sharma in this series.Either Rahane or Manoj should have given a chance.Rohit have given lot of opportunities but he failed almost every time.No.4 is a key position and when Yuvi returns he will be the best fit for this role. Umesh Yadav is turning out to be next Sreesanth. He got pace but can't pitch the ball in right areas.Zak should give him some tip so that he can improve without dropping his pace. Of course lot of time to think before the next game.All the best for the rest of the series.....

  • Dbatsman on July 25, 2012, 23:18 GMT

    DROP ROHIT AND TAKE TIWARY IN HIS PLACE AND MAKE UMESH LEARN WHERE TO PITCH THE BOWL AND TRY OUT DINDA INSTEAD OF UMESH IN THE NEXT GAME

  • ChuckyDoll on July 25, 2012, 19:24 GMT

    Where is the grit ? Take some on the chin! If you add just a little bit of grit and grind to the team, things will be much more better, Dhoni. The talent is there; grit..... I am not so sure it exists in our blood.

  • ChuckyDoll on July 25, 2012, 19:21 GMT

    Here we go again. Day #2 of a new season and same excuses. We (Indians) will never learn because our cricket does not have a system. There is no concept of 'adapting'. Each individual will play per their style no matter what. If they click, then good. If they don't, blame it on a 'bad day'. A true team will consistently even on a bad day and make something happen.

  • Commenter123 on July 25, 2012, 19:01 GMT

    Dhoniji, If the pitch is not good enough, we should never leave a good pitch in our own backyard and play only on that pitch every damn game. Think about it. We win and we lose, it's always the team's doing, never pitch's /end.

  • on July 25, 2012, 18:30 GMT

    India expected an easy win and lost. After winning the toss! If Sri Lanka was ready, why was not India? There are no easy wins.

  • Master_Mihil on July 25, 2012, 18:30 GMT

    Come on guyz,indian people come to watch matches and keeps the players as god because they believe India is the best. That made india the best market for cricketing industry and made cricketing economy a lot of service by IPL. So Dhoni simply cannot say "We are bad!" He will always say different things because not only Indian cricket whole cricket industry is in hands. So everybody owes him for his big responsibility, cut the dude some slack!!

  • on July 25, 2012, 18:10 GMT

    Dhoni is has become king of lame excuses

  • SLMaster on July 25, 2012, 18:05 GMT

    This time India wasn't lucky, that is the different. They played badly in both games. In the first match rash shot didn't cost. Shewag played the same bad game but was lucky in the first. In the second every catch and edges held up.

  • 777aditya on July 25, 2012, 17:59 GMT

    these kind of excuses should not be made by a World Cup winning captain - why does he think he should be dished out flat tracks match after match?!

  • SanSL5 on July 25, 2012, 16:50 GMT

    As a Sri Lankan I'm saying to stop blaming Dhoni for his comments. It was totally Sri Lanka's fault for not preparing a flat pitch with nothing for the so that India can win the match. What was the curator thinking?! Plus when India was batting the wind was blowing very hard. Five minutes later when our team came to bat the wind "magically" disappeared. :/

  • on July 25, 2012, 16:37 GMT

    Putting in Rahane and tiwary in place of rohit and ojha, will help india's cause. Ojha isn't bowling too well any way to maintain his lace in the side....

  • on July 25, 2012, 16:12 GMT

    dont blame the pitch! Indian cricket has become an excuse... once you lose there is always something to blame. Horrible show... and first to go needs to be our own beloved coach... who has been fabulous in failing. Next should be MSD... you cant always make excuses... Zak gets one more chance to show his worth.. if he fails he goes... Viru too... Tendu can stay as long as he scores... if he fails tw matches he goes too... time for a remodel... Aussie style.

  • azamscar on July 25, 2012, 15:24 GMT

    i think what Dhoni said is correct, it has to be a flat track to proform well like what they have in India. dhoni was very honest in his comment so dont blame him guys

  • WarriorsElevenIndia on July 25, 2012, 14:48 GMT

    Why blame Dhoni guys, he is way to experienced to blame the pitch solely. He knows what went wrong. He was just commenting on the pitch when asked about the condition, thats all.

  • praveen4honestremark on July 25, 2012, 14:36 GMT

    It's the picture.Dhoni and Mahela said same thing about pitch. Both said that it was touch slower. Dhoni assessed almost same way what Mahela said.But both talked from their team perspective. Dhoni said before they could assess pitch they lost wickets. So, that's where he feels our team needs to learn ;and Mahela said that his bowlers bowled well which he talked from their team perspective. There is nothing to point any thing here of Dhoni. He admitted that mistakes were done and there is no need for him after that defeat to praise opposition bowlers. He assessed his team and he also knows how good opossition bowlers were, so there is nothing wrong said by Dhoni. He accepted mistake and at same time backed his team which is quality of good captain...To people who always blame Dhoni saying excuses, i kindly suggest them to read the column carefully and later come to conclusion. If i am wrong, i will admit it.But please for sake of blaming don't blame. Thank you. Cricinfo please publish.

  • on July 25, 2012, 13:52 GMT

    Always Blame Pitch for poor batting

  • ProdigyA on July 25, 2012, 13:36 GMT

    Youngsters? Are you crazy, Each of the guyz have played about 100 matches and they are still learning. When will they learn? Regarding Rohit, i hate to say it but he is just good for IPL and domestic. The number of opportunities being given to him are just being wasted. There are other players too, they need an opportunity as well.

  • PanGlupek on July 25, 2012, 13:34 GMT

    Hahaha, pitch didn't seem too bad when Sri Lanka batted on it!

  • sohaibahmad on July 25, 2012, 13:18 GMT

    what a miserable excuse from a beat up captain

  • Nampally on July 25, 2012, 13:17 GMT

    Get a Captain who gets the job done instead of giving lame excuses.Let Dhoni captain the team in T-20 only. Have different captains for the Tests & ODI like the Young Pujara & Gambhir. Pujara is one batsman in India with right technique & correct footwork. Why is he not even in the squad. I like to see guys like Pujara & U.Chand who score runs rather than defend their failures with worst childish excuses they can come out with. It is sad to see an Indian captain defending rank bad batting & even worse bowling being due to poor pitch - which dramatically changed colours for India & SL within matter of minutes. Have the Sri Lankans got magical powers as well as good Cricketers. I think Dhoni should become a comedian in Bollywood with these sort of jokes!. India should have played U.Chand, Sehwag, Gambhir, Pujara. Kohli & Rahane/Tiwary as their top batsmen.Raina & Rohit are good for T-20 only. Get D.Kulkarni as a seamer instead of ZAK /Yadev. Use Rahul in Xi rather than on bench.

  • on July 25, 2012, 13:06 GMT

    Mr Dhoni !! when will your players learn to play ?

  • Nampally on July 25, 2012, 12:56 GMT

    Poor workmen blame the tools for their workmanship. Dhoni is blaming the pitch for rank poor strokes by Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Raina , Dhoni & Irfan pathan. How can these guys play so irresponsibly. Take a lesson from how the South African batsmen played England in the Oval test. They were determined not to give their wicket at any cost!. The will to succeed & using their heads in shot selection is essential for any batsman. Clearly the Indian batsme were all at sea against the moving ball because of their wrong footwork & technique led by Dhoni himself.Both the teams played on the same ground. Indian bowlers bowled so many wides whilst perrera had control over his length, direction & swing - windy conditions or not.Indian bowling was so poor on the same pitch that SL made India look like "Minnows". They nearly won by 10 wickets in <20 overs. India batted poorly & matched their batting with even worse bowling. Blaming the pitch is sad reflection to admit the all round inepptitude!.

  • dennyf on July 25, 2012, 12:52 GMT

    Why does Dhoni make excuses for the batting failures, surely Ghambir , and Ashwin did well. Also why does Dhoni and the selectores keep aon giving Rohit Sharma chances after chances. He has failed time and again, even when to the west indies with the a team he failed and now in t the firs tow odis' why not give other batsmen a chance. the sri lankan batsmen did well on the same pitch that dhoni was crying about. time to own up to the truth. send Rohit back to inida , he is only good in ranji matches played in india.

  • Indian_Fan09 on July 25, 2012, 12:36 GMT

    This guy never runs out of excuses!! Hate this side of him!! He should resign!!

  • on July 25, 2012, 12:29 GMT

    Some things never change.. and that includes Moanie Dhoni...always blaming something... perhaps India batted on a different pitch to the Sri Lankans

  • Ha8rick on July 25, 2012, 12:11 GMT

    Dhoni: Do you hear other teams say "Pitch Cost Us" when they lose to India IN India? His excuses are getting lamer and lamer every day. Sad to see him fall so much so quickly since the World Cup Triumph (IN INDIA I might add).

  • on July 25, 2012, 12:07 GMT

    Pitch cost India - Dhoni , give me a break , I mean seriously don't you have a better excuse than this ?? LOL

  • battingaboveyouraverage on July 25, 2012, 11:55 GMT

    Didn't see the match, but seriously why is Rohit picked game after game?

    He was awful in the England tour and awful in Australia!

    Think it's time for him to relise the fact he isn't good enough at this level, but more importantly the selectors need to understand!

  • on July 25, 2012, 11:53 GMT

    want to see yuvaraj in the team as soon as possible.

  • pratit on July 25, 2012, 11:46 GMT

    It is the job of international players to adjust to conditions. Typical of Dhoni to offer excuses after every loss. And these "youngsters" have there for quite a while now. They are certainly no spring chicken in terms of their exposure to international cricket.

  • Rooboy on July 25, 2012, 11:37 GMT

    Unbelievable. Can india ever accept they were simply outplayed by superior opposition on the day, without continually clutching at feeble excuses? It's a joke

  • mathewjohn2176 on July 25, 2012, 11:34 GMT

    "MATHEW JHON..just wait india will lose 1-4 this time!!! Dhoni magic is over....", before the series starts, srilankan fans were talking about 5-0 whitewash to India,nw then India won the first odi,the equation changed. Wait till the series over,it's not a war or something,just a game.@ ruchanu and phizz,I am not an but india is my 2nd favorite cricket team.cricinfo please publish

  • on July 25, 2012, 11:31 GMT

    It's a pity Dhoni and his men were bowled out for such a low score in the 2nd ODI vs S.Lanka. Whenever it occurs Dhoni says let us learn from our mistakes, its OK. But it recurrs inspite of so many years experience it is happening with the whole lot of batsmen, but i give credit to Gambhir for hanging out there in these circumstances. What as to be really looked into is our weakness in bowling. We always bowl a lots of short ball and without that power fire like Bretlee the batsmen as got ample time to adjust and hook the ball where ever he wants. Specially in a low scoring match the line and length should be perfect keep attacking the stumps and bowl straight and the batsman with a couple of dart balls will get frustrated and he will make his mistakes. In the first ODI there were too many short balls bowled by Umesh Yadav and he got the treatment.

  • Siddarth_VS on July 25, 2012, 11:26 GMT

    LOL, i can just laugh when i see such comments by dhoni.It was really pathetic batting and good bowling, NOTHING ELSE! Just highlighted our weakness against good swing,seam bowling.

  • on July 25, 2012, 10:49 GMT

    DHONI DHONI DHONI.. Shame on u .. Blaming the pitch this time around !

  • praveen4honestremark on July 25, 2012, 10:26 GMT

    I am not sure that why still Dhoni persists with Zaheer khan,r??? Can he and his selectors not able to see any other bowler in India with eyes open who can match with Zaheer.Ask me, i will find a many for you Mr. Dhoni and co. Whenever a tour starts,the word that comes out of Dhoni's mouth is " We have to manage Zaheer's work load, so that he wont break up". What the hell is going on?? In England tour Zaheer is unft and left not even bowling few overs and left even before 1 day completed in a test match. And now in Srilanka tour. Zaheer is an old passionate Indian still trying to bowl but can only bowl with full fitness, in 1 out of 5 matches. Why do you need him Mr. Dhoni. First a player should be 100%fit. Fitness should be primary criteria for selection. This guy manages bowling with 70% fitness.The team may fail in few games if you take a new guy but it will not pain an Indian fan who just wants players to give 100%. With 70% fitness how can Zaheer give his 100%. on the field??

  • on July 25, 2012, 10:12 GMT

    MATHEW JHON..just wait india will lose 1-4 this time!!! Dhoni magic is over....

  • on July 25, 2012, 10:11 GMT

    The pitch?!?!?! typical Dhoni, excuses just like the 2007 Wc debacle... pathetic for a captain. Utter disgrace

  • LALITHKURUWITA on July 25, 2012, 10:10 GMT

    I am wondering what sort of 3 excuses Dhoni got in his mind to mention after each of next 3 games.

  • Rajah_skn on July 25, 2012, 10:00 GMT

    Mohamed Ameen Azad: You did not read full article above. The pitch was not the same one as used on 1st ODI. The pitches next to each other in a same ground may entirely differ based on the way the pitch was built/prepared.

  • LALITHKURUWITA on July 25, 2012, 9:49 GMT

    I like to see Gambier has to say about the batting.

  • theswami on July 25, 2012, 9:43 GMT

    I think Sharma and Raina are passe', the former a failure in intenational cricket and the latter, a fast-track bully, with no technique .... I think they should be replaced with Tiwari & Rahane in the next match ... and one of the pacers should go, they were all equally bad and the board must fly in L.Balaji ...

  • phizz on July 25, 2012, 9:43 GMT

    @mathewjohn. Mahelanevercomplained of the pitch,get urinfo right.he said they aleft a little too muchfor the middle order todo, where as both captains talkedofthe windy condition.unlike dhoni who obviously finds some odd reason to complain of after a loss. Infact he was even taling of his usual hectic schedule, where as sri lanka has been playing the most number of matches for the last year and still mahela din'tbother bringing the up..india are just bunch of sore, thats what they are

  • Positive_Critic on July 25, 2012, 9:32 GMT

    IF, according to Dhoni, getting out chopping onto the stumps is a bad luck, then may be when our batters pile on runs, it is a sign of good luck. Funny part is, when our batsmen fail, its bad luck or bad pitch or bad umpiring but when our batsmen makes centuries surprisingly its all skill and talent... Why doesn't MSD mention that our batsmen scored runs coz our batters were lucky not to chop on to the stumps, that the pitch was easy or the bowling was mediocre...Why do we blame failures to luck and external factors but always take credit for victories... Come on MSD... face it.. our batsmen dont like to struggle on the pitch either it has to be a placid pitch to hit through the line or our batsmen will get out playing aggressive shots... None of our batters believe in sticking around when the going is tough

  • ruchanu93 on July 25, 2012, 9:26 GMT

    @ mathewjohn2176 oh com'n dude mahela talked about the wind after he won also! and there were several misfields and alot of wides from both sides! so the wind is actualy a challenge to both the teams not only to the team that looses the match! what happened ydy was the the lankans played to the conditions better than the indians and they were the better team on the day so msd and all you indian accept the fact! in the first games indian outperformed the lankans in all 3 departments and they diservedly won the game! and to all you indians who were telling that game was a thrashing " in your face "

  • ruchanu93 on July 25, 2012, 9:21 GMT

    haha now now thats a damn lame excuse to come up with MSD! the pitch cost you'l the game? well it was on the same pitch that the lankans raced to 139 in 19.5 overs! its the bowling mate! the lions bowled well specially perera and mathews! it wast out and out fast and swing and seam bowling like what you get from dale steyn but was controlled bowling with some swing and seam and the indians crumbled like dirt! and when the lankans batted there wasnt much of a difference in the pitch but the difference was in the bowling the lankans wrere offered enough and more deliveries to free there arms and they capitalized on it! it was the introduction of thisara and mathews that did it for sri lanka! cuz before that the indians had raced to 31 in 3 overs dont think dhoni was blaming the pitch then ;) evn when he got out he was trying to cut a rising delivery that was too close to his body! Rohit and Raina were just too lazy and shewag played a nothing shot!

  • golgo_85 on July 25, 2012, 8:50 GMT

    A defeat in the subcontinent must be really hard to swallow for Dhoni these days since the comprehensive drubbings overseas.

  • shantiratnamaj on July 25, 2012, 8:31 GMT

    the problem with Rohit Sharma is his approach in the first 20 balls of his innings - he walks to the wicket very empty and he starts as if he is a lost cricketer. he must practice in the nets not to get out in the first 20 balls or so. when he is in full flow then he is a complete different cricketer - so its nothing to do with talent its just to do with how he plans his inniings.

  • Philip_Gnana on July 25, 2012, 8:30 GMT

    Dhoni is giving his point of view and we need to respect that. He has always been a modest and a good diplomat for the game. Perhaps the euphoria of the win in the previous game made them a bit complacent. After four overs they did look good. All it take is two quick wickets to put the team on the back foot. Cricket is a funny game. The SL batsmen did not have any problems at all did they when they batted? Overconfidence? Wonder if the boot is going to be in the other foot and the SL have a bad day in the next match? Phili Gnana, surrey

  • on July 25, 2012, 8:11 GMT

    Time has come to give Ajinkya Rahane, to give continuous chances in place of erratic Rohit Sharma............

  • on July 25, 2012, 7:50 GMT

    SL is far better than ind on their day as they have depth in bating and bowling as well...fielding is clear difference

  • ut4me87 on July 25, 2012, 7:41 GMT

    In the past Dravid played a vital role in the 1 day set up. Why can't Pujara play in 50 over matches and steady the innings? Rohit is a waste of space and Yadav should be reserved for test cricket, and Dinda should be given a chance.

  • stormy16 on July 25, 2012, 7:37 GMT

    Strange comment really from Dhoni - may be he was influenced by the English comments after the Oval loss! The pitch cannot be blamed when the opponents run up 138 in 20 overs unless of course one beleives in English excuses where the pitch was good for batting on day one, bowling on day 2, batting again on day 3 and 4 (till tea only) then bowling again after tea on day 4 and 5!!

  • Samdanh on July 25, 2012, 7:32 GMT

    Same story. When we lose, it is either the pitch or the umpires! Whew!! When will we change?

  • on July 25, 2012, 7:26 GMT

    No comments about the pitch. U Indians scored 300 plus on the sme pitch 3 days ago, lame excuses guys. Wakeup we need some good games. ur heavy weight batting line up was simply jolted by Thisa and Angi. All credits to our youngsters

  • mathewjohn2176 on July 25, 2012, 7:10 GMT

    Why everyone is after dhoni? He just gave the reasons for the batsman getting out and not blaming the pitch.Didnt mahela blamed the hambantota ground last time for having so much wind while fielding first and due to that they misfielded?today mahela won the game ,who knows what he will say if the results are opposite? Everyone forgot especially srilankan fans,that srilanka fell for 135/8 against Pakistan in palakelle during the odi series.So nothing wrong when team loses matches,but what matters is winning the series.Give him some pace..@ jonathonjosephs,During CB series,srilanka lost to India twice and tied one match against India,It was India had 2-1 and they lost to Australia ..So srilanka didn't do better against India in Australia.cricinfo please publish

  • on July 25, 2012, 7:09 GMT

    As a diehard Sri lankan fan i dont want to see Rohit sharma being kicked out of the team because he had been unlucky for last two ODI"s and probably going through a bad Patch.He is such a cool and a wonderful Player to watch when he is on song.He is the Inzamam of India.Some Patience is needed by indian fans

  • podichetty on July 25, 2012, 7:07 GMT

    wake up guys and admit ! Rohit's technique is not good for international cricket, good only for IPL and for heaven sake please stop praising his talent as we "the spectators" have had enough of that and he himself will feel ashamed at this stage bcoz of lack of performances !

  • i_witnessed_2011 on July 25, 2012, 7:07 GMT

    Is it so hard to say that opposition bowled well and our team outplayed by them? Give credit SL bowlers as well. It is not you and pitches all the time!!

  • on July 25, 2012, 6:58 GMT

    Rohit is getting bowled ! ......... He is leaving gap b/w bat and pad and gets late on pacy deliveries, that is as bad a technique as it can get . Hence he has no defence.........Dhoni has soft corner for him and try to defend him baselessly ...............SL batsmen were able to play fluent strokes on the same pitch easily...............Furthermore in past 5 Indian inn Rohit has no contribution in making 300 scores.

  • on July 25, 2012, 6:57 GMT

    It is one of those games .SL were in the same position for many times.Thisara was magnificent by any means and it is not an easy task to get three wickets in three maidens in any kind of a pitch against any opposition.SL capitalized on India's collapse and displayed a solid batting performance.India will bounce back for sure.Let us wait for the next game.

  • mjrvasu on July 25, 2012, 6:35 GMT

    Oh really, MSD? Guess Sri Lanka played their innings on a different surface, then.

  • satish619chandar on July 25, 2012, 6:33 GMT

    @Guys.. Small clearance.. "Initially the wicket was slightly on the slower side. Once Virat [Kohli] got out we lost a couple of more wickets very quickly. Before the batsmen could assess the wicket, we lost two wickets played on." The same team scored 300+ last game and they were just caught off guard and lose too much before one could realize.. He could ve easily said it as batted badly.. but that is MS.. He always gives something more than what is asked and gets misunderstood by some section as excuse guy..

  • on July 25, 2012, 6:25 GMT

    "Great comment. I still confident on Rohit, he can prove himself as the best middle order batsman in this generation. He have skill and ability to reply his critics. Wait and see on saturday."

    Really?

    Ive read such comments for a few years now!

  • Rahul_78 on July 25, 2012, 6:24 GMT

    MSD should try explaining Rohits dismissal to Manoj Tiwari who is cooling his heels for almost a year after scoring a century against England. Rohit sharma is at the moment epitomizing what a young batsmen with good potential and with great expectations from fans shouldn't do.

  • on July 25, 2012, 6:04 GMT

    Its not uncommon that Dhoni make excuses when he loses.Take Sangakkara, and Mahela for example.They dont make excuses that easily and even they win, they talk about the team mistakes that they should correct for the next match.And @Vasmi, this is a fairly new ground for Sri Lankan team as well dude.

  • sony_sr on July 25, 2012, 5:50 GMT

    Rohit is a very good odi player. No doubt about that and he will come back strongly. But the way he is getting out poses question marks over his tightness of defence. Already there are question marks over his temperament to play long innings. Both these could go against him when the replacement for dravid against newzeleand is chosen.

  • alchemist_sandeep on July 25, 2012, 5:19 GMT

    yes rohit will play next 2 games...ind should go with rahane at 3 and kohli at4 and drop rohit..

  • Gupta.Ankur on July 25, 2012, 5:07 GMT

    A lot of hue and cry was made by fellow indians and the media about how SRT's pick&choose policy would hurt a youngster's chance, if he does well.

    Surprisingly, i haven't seen a single "youngster" either opening or at any place in the 11..

    Rohit sharma has been around for 5 years and still people give chance to him....he even caused seniors to get rested in VB series and look what he does? play casual shots!

    Which why i could never understand the hue and cry media makes every time SRT opts out.

  • on July 25, 2012, 5:06 GMT

    Yah Yah Dhoni hahahaha. It's obvious. Sorry

  • LALITHKURUWITA on July 25, 2012, 5:00 GMT

    SL has Wind God in Hambantota. SL prayed for QWind God before the match. That is why Wind God made a lot of problems to Ind batsmen.

  • cric_fan_ on July 25, 2012, 5:00 GMT

    Dhoni stop whining and take it on the chin like a good captain, SL played suprebly, you played badly hence you lost, stop blaming the pitch.Even if the pitch was slow it wasn't a 138 all out pitch was it? It's more important for the openers to judge the pace and bounce of a pitch because they're the first ones to face the bowling and the way GG played he read the pitch perfectly then why couldn't the other batsmen do the same or why didn't he tell the incoming batsmen that "hey guys the pitch is playing slowly so watch out"

  • anver777 on July 25, 2012, 4:44 GMT

    More than the pitch, I think credit should go to SL bowling for this thumping victory. Bundling out a strong Ind batting unit for paltry 138 is a great effort...... And what a dream spell Thisara had & backed up by hardworking Angelo !!! Series 3/2 in favor of SL !!!!!!!!!!!

  • EngineerKhan on July 25, 2012, 4:42 GMT

    I was least expecting such a comments from Dhoni. He should take himself from neck. He, Kohli, Sehwag, Sharma, Raina all were responsible for their own demise. And we all know chasing in SL is always tough. Not batting first. India can only play on flat tracks.

  • on July 25, 2012, 4:38 GMT

    I think Rohit simply has to change both his attitude and approach!!

  • AsZa on July 25, 2012, 4:26 GMT

    you gotta be kidding dhoni? both teams played in the same pitch and the same conditions ( if not harder for sri lanka at night ) and India were beaten soundly by a team with more hunger and commitment on the day . India thought its gonna be a walk in the park for setting a higher score as the did in the first match. but they were outplayed by new breed of young guns in sri lankan cricket ( matthews and perera) so MR dhoni, admit that you were beaten by a better team on the day who had more hunger to beat you. finally give some credit to the sri lankan cricket team who humiliated you as true gentleman cricketer.

  • johnathonjosephs on July 25, 2012, 4:26 GMT

    @Vamsi, Even though this is Sri Lanka's home, this ground was recently made and if I'm not mistaken, I think they played around 5-6 ODI's here on this ground. Also, it is VERY different from any subcontinent conditions we have seen. I guess (according to Dhoni) that it was extremely windy when the Indians was batting, but 10 minutes later when Sri Lanka was batting the wind stopped. Very very deductive reasoning MS

  • mysay on July 25, 2012, 4:14 GMT

    For all thoseo of you folk asking Dhoni to admit the fact of batting poorly, why not get him to admit facts as follows. I MSD am too old and can't see the ball due to poor eye sight. I'm now a burden to the Indian team. I MSD am leadiing a team which half of the players are Granpa's. I can play only on dusty pitches at home like the one on which we won the WC which by the way was a major fluke that I have a hard time believing it. I can't handle fast and boncy pitches which is why we got smacked in England. I don't like the DRS because when I knick the ball to the keeper and don't walk it will be detected and given out which is just not fair. But the DRS has to be imposed for all opponents. I'm payed way too much that I'm worth, and SRT sayed back becuase we had a quarrell.

  • Narbavi on July 25, 2012, 4:03 GMT

    @johnathonjosephs: Oh pls, srilanka didnt beat india to the finals in CB series, it was australia who beat india and sent us out, because u beat us only once and we beat u twice, and to others asking why MSD is blaming the pitch, he didnt blame the pitch he just defended his batsmen saying they didnt play rash shots and the pitch had more bounce to it, that's it!! And someone said pitches should be changed, the advantage of home conditions would be destroyed if that's done, u need to have different pitches, if its the same then whats the point of playing home and away??

  • DEV_ME on July 25, 2012, 3:56 GMT

    @Veena Rajkumar - The article is titled "Pace of pitch, not rashness, cost India - Dhoni", simpletons like me take it that the pitch is being held responsible for the surprise factor. But hey - that is the fun part in traditional cricket - the pitch ! Thats where the pitch assessment at the start of the game comes in ! With all the combined experience of the Indian team + Fletcher, there should have been some idea. On the other hand you have Gambhir - who could assess and carry his bat through. The shots played by Kohli, Rohit and Raina were just not on. They were trying to play square of the wicket, when situation + bowling line and length + Pitch demanded that batsman covers the line and plays straight in the V. Pitches like this bring out the real 'talent' of the batsman, India does miss Sachin and Dravid in situations like this. Maybe Dhoni should ask for Mat/Concrete wickets from ICC - mind you, it will be a big favour for the Kotla in Delhi !

  • on July 25, 2012, 3:53 GMT

    Oh Dhoni. Lame excuses dude. You were outplayed and outclassed. I didn't hear him complain too much when he had the best of the batting AND bowling conditions in the last match! Sore loser

  • Udendra on July 25, 2012, 3:52 GMT

    "a bad workman quarrels with his tools", that's what I've got to say.

  • on July 25, 2012, 3:48 GMT

    India give-up real easy when going get's tough for them at the top of the batting innings and it's same with bowling some times. Mind you sri lanka was lacking the best in-form bowler at this current time (kula) reason y mahela picked only one spinner is Coz india good at, flat pitches fast outfield, and playing spinners and posting a score 300+ and in control. If that pattern changes they are in trouble. Now In Colombo you will c the similar pattern again.

  • Rokkk on July 25, 2012, 3:33 GMT

    I have never seen Dhoni giving credit to the opposition team. So when you win it's because of skill and when you lose it's pretty much about fortune huh? Egos..

  • bantersaurus on July 25, 2012, 3:30 GMT

    Fair enough you can use the pitch as an excuse for the first 1 or 2 wickets but the next 6 or 7? Surely they have learnt from the other dismissals how the wicket will be playing? Too many front runners in the Indian batting line up and if they don't get off to a good start they rarely pull themselves out of a tricky situation

  • Wacco on July 25, 2012, 3:27 GMT

    Indians should start playing on MAT-wickets, not natural turf. The most ill-equipped team to counter different conditions. India has gone back to the days of the last century. I bet, Bangladesh will beat them in a bowlers' friendly pitch. Lot of GRIEF is in store. Look at South Africa!

  • AneYako on July 25, 2012, 3:23 GMT

    @Vamsi: yes and this is also still south asia. These conditions should be pretty closer to home conditions for Indians as well. Blaming the pitch for getting out for less than 150 runs is pathetic in my honest opinion. He refuses to give credit for the great performance of the opposition nor is he willing to admit they batted horribly. The shot selection was mediocre by many of the batsman and that was one of the main reasons they got all out so fast. If the pitch was so surprising compared to the previous time (mind you this is Hambantota, Lankan players don't exactly stay and play in this ground 24/7) it's a miracle how easily the lankan batsman dealt with the indian bowlers. People need to learn to own up to their mistakes, simple as that.

  • satish619chandar on July 25, 2012, 3:15 GMT

    Denial, excuses.. Aren't the people ready to look this as a typical Dhoni comment rather than saying it in other words.. Media, especially Indian media will always make fuss out of each and every word uttered by any player.. Even normal comments made by Dhoni got attention more than they deserved.. Better to stay away like this..

  • neerajprasher on July 25, 2012, 3:11 GMT

    Team for next ODI- sehwag,gambhir,kohli,rahane,tiwary,raina,dhoni,pathan,ashwin,khan,dinda

  • on July 25, 2012, 2:47 GMT

    All you guys out there talking about the same pitch for both the teams... Its SL's home for god's sake... And team playing first gets that surprise factor affecting the most.. And Dhoni isnt someone who usually blames someone else for our mistakes... So, now, please stop criticizing the comment...

    And mind you.. India WILL comeback strongly.. As always...!!!

  • rahulcricket007 on July 25, 2012, 2:10 GMT

    SO DHONI HAS ACCPETED THAT INDIAN BATSMEN CAN ONLY [LAY ON FLAT PITCHES . I THINK BANGLADESH SHOULD ALSO START PREPARING GRASSY WKTS FOR INDIAN TEAM . THIS INDIAN TEAM HAS THE MOST VULNERABLE BATSMEN IN THE WORLD .

  • shajw on July 25, 2012, 1:56 GMT

    I think Dhoni does have a point in that the pitch played far slower than the previous one and took the Indians by surprise. The Sri Lankan batsmen had the chance to see how India played, so they were better prepared to deal with the surface. What I don't like about Dhoni's comments, though, is that he didn't put his hand up and admit that his team failed to adjust to the conditions and batted poorly as a result, nor did he give the Sri Lankans due credit for their performance - learn to accept when you've been outplayed, MS old boy...

  • on July 25, 2012, 1:46 GMT

    Dhoni now might say Lankans battted on a different pitch

  • on July 25, 2012, 1:22 GMT

    Dhoni made 2 different statements at 2 different points in the conversation. 1. (not exact words) The pitch was difficult and unfortunately wickets kept falling (in unfortunate manner) and they could not assess and alter. 2. He did not feel the shots were reckless. These 2 points have been converted in this article and comments to "India lost because of bad pitch" Wonder why people cannot understand the point made. Give the man a break.

  • G-Rocker on July 25, 2012, 1:20 GMT

    If u dont know how to bat...say I cant.....dont blame the pitch...

  • on July 25, 2012, 1:14 GMT

    Mr. Dhoni, Why cant you just that the opposition outplayed you by a mile and some distance to go. Why cant you admit that the other side is also in the ground playing for a win, why do you think the opposition shows up to loose???? Well played Sri Lanka, well played!!!

  • SanSL5 on July 25, 2012, 1:10 GMT

    How can he blame the pitch when SL reached the target at almost 7 runs per over and lost only 1 wicket on the same pitch? pathetic.

  • Suhailmarsh on July 25, 2012, 1:08 GMT

    Great comment. I still confident on Rohit, he can prove himself as the best middle order batsman in this generation. He have skill and ability to reply his critics. Wait and see on saturday.

  • on July 25, 2012, 0:50 GMT

    All I can make out of Dhoni's comments, Rohit will play next 2 matches, no place for Manoj or Rahane.....

  • coolitbaby on July 25, 2012, 0:43 GMT

    @Faisal Shoaib - Sweet dreams dear.

  • on July 25, 2012, 0:28 GMT

    India needs to fix their IPL habits urgently and work seriously on their batting temperament. At least 4 of them are victims of their poor shot selection. Rohit needs boot now, let Tiwari take over and surely he will do well. If pitch was the issue, why Lankans won by 9 wickets?

  • Yoker111 on July 25, 2012, 0:26 GMT

    Abhishek Purohit be glad that this ground is surrounded by nature and not in the midst of a concrete jungle with a flat batting track.

  • praveen4honestremark on July 25, 2012, 0:25 GMT

    Dhoni and Mahela said same thing about pitch. Both said that it was touch slower. Dhoni assessed almost same way what Mahela said. But both talked from their team perspective. Dhoni said before they could assess they lost wickets. So, that's where he feels our team needs to learn he feels and Mahela said that his bowlers bowled well. There is nothing to point any thing here of Dhoni. He admitted that mistakes were done and there is no need for him after that defeat to praise opposition bowlers. He assessed his team and he also knows how good opossition bowlers were, so there is nothing wrong said by Dhoni. He accepted mistake and at same time backed his team which is quality of good captain. Let's move on. Best of luck to both the teams FOR 3RD odI

  • gayansumeera2 on July 24, 2012, 23:41 GMT

    Dhoni must respect their opponents first!

  • Hyderabadi_Nawab on July 24, 2012, 23:37 GMT

    What do you expect in a post match analysis of another painful one day match of no consequence - Ind vs SL ODI has been done to death - I am surprised these guys don't baulk at the prospect of playing out another of these dreary one day series. Even a one off test match with a three day practice match thrown in would have been a better option but then that's a minority opinion obviously.

  • johnathonjosephs on July 24, 2012, 23:25 GMT

    Why is Dhoni blaming it on the pitch? Was this not the same pitch that they played on 2 days ago, batting first and posting 300+? Why does the author of this article make it sound like India was unlucky? Sri Lanka is a very good team, they beat India to the CB Finals. Perera is just too good. He has his good days and he has his bad days, but when he has his good days, he is a genuine matchwinner.

  • on July 24, 2012, 22:44 GMT

    Dhoni should stop blaming the pitch, when it was evident indian team played kamikaze cricket and paid the prize for it. What does Dhoni expect ?

  • _NEUTRAL_Fan_ on July 24, 2012, 22:32 GMT

    When the opposition loses only 1 wicket, in an ODI played the very same day, how can u talk about the pitch? If the first guy misjudges the pitch, y would the guys to follow make similar misjudgments? Just say u were outplayed n will play better in the future.

  • AvidCricFan on July 24, 2012, 22:29 GMT

    So the same pitch had no problems for SL? Dhoni's assessment is way off the mark. It was simply a poor performance. The selectors need to seriously think about Rohit Sharma's role in the team. He has consistently under performed even when given extended rope in the team. His last meaningful performance was the WI series two years back. It will be better to bring Rahane in the team.

  • on July 24, 2012, 22:26 GMT

    to all indians: this match would seem like deja vu in december during indopak series :)

  • cdublew on July 24, 2012, 22:03 GMT

    These post-match comments from Mr.Dhoni as reported here do not seem to be very sportsmanlike. From what I saw it appeared that SL just played better cricket given all the conditions -- wind and variable bounce. It would have nice to hear him say that. After all this is only a game and didn't SL bat and bowl on the same wicket and win by 9 wickets ?

  • shewal on July 24, 2012, 22:02 GMT

    Talked about all wrong stuff; but not a word about Gambhir.. who was the lone man standing!!! Sehwag + Gambhir pushed aside my Dhoni!!!

  • JonB007 on July 24, 2012, 21:42 GMT

    Well now you know how foreigners feel when coming to INDIA & play on a flat pitch specially the ones tailored to help spinners. It's high time that ICC does some kind of regulation in standardizing pitches. At least standardize the controllable parts, since we know weather cannot be controlled. But, the soil content and the way pitches are prepared from the initial stages can be controlled. Then is the only time the best team can claim they are the true champions.

  • on July 24, 2012, 21:41 GMT

    If it is the pitch, how come that Sri Lanka batted so well soon after. Lost only one wicket and scored the runs in about half the number of overs.

  • Vilander on July 24, 2012, 21:25 GMT

    Do well in the next game guys, its just one game. Keep your eye on the big price, make your preparations for the world t20..best of luck team india. It does not matter to loose to a better team on the day, mathews and thisera deserve kudos.

  • CricketPissek on July 24, 2012, 21:22 GMT

    Denial much? Does Mr Dhoni think the Lankan batsmen played on another pitch?

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  • CricketPissek on July 24, 2012, 21:22 GMT

    Denial much? Does Mr Dhoni think the Lankan batsmen played on another pitch?

  • Vilander on July 24, 2012, 21:25 GMT

    Do well in the next game guys, its just one game. Keep your eye on the big price, make your preparations for the world t20..best of luck team india. It does not matter to loose to a better team on the day, mathews and thisera deserve kudos.

  • on July 24, 2012, 21:41 GMT

    If it is the pitch, how come that Sri Lanka batted so well soon after. Lost only one wicket and scored the runs in about half the number of overs.

  • JonB007 on July 24, 2012, 21:42 GMT

    Well now you know how foreigners feel when coming to INDIA & play on a flat pitch specially the ones tailored to help spinners. It's high time that ICC does some kind of regulation in standardizing pitches. At least standardize the controllable parts, since we know weather cannot be controlled. But, the soil content and the way pitches are prepared from the initial stages can be controlled. Then is the only time the best team can claim they are the true champions.

  • shewal on July 24, 2012, 22:02 GMT

    Talked about all wrong stuff; but not a word about Gambhir.. who was the lone man standing!!! Sehwag + Gambhir pushed aside my Dhoni!!!

  • cdublew on July 24, 2012, 22:03 GMT

    These post-match comments from Mr.Dhoni as reported here do not seem to be very sportsmanlike. From what I saw it appeared that SL just played better cricket given all the conditions -- wind and variable bounce. It would have nice to hear him say that. After all this is only a game and didn't SL bat and bowl on the same wicket and win by 9 wickets ?

  • on July 24, 2012, 22:26 GMT

    to all indians: this match would seem like deja vu in december during indopak series :)

  • AvidCricFan on July 24, 2012, 22:29 GMT

    So the same pitch had no problems for SL? Dhoni's assessment is way off the mark. It was simply a poor performance. The selectors need to seriously think about Rohit Sharma's role in the team. He has consistently under performed even when given extended rope in the team. His last meaningful performance was the WI series two years back. It will be better to bring Rahane in the team.

  • _NEUTRAL_Fan_ on July 24, 2012, 22:32 GMT

    When the opposition loses only 1 wicket, in an ODI played the very same day, how can u talk about the pitch? If the first guy misjudges the pitch, y would the guys to follow make similar misjudgments? Just say u were outplayed n will play better in the future.

  • on July 24, 2012, 22:44 GMT

    Dhoni should stop blaming the pitch, when it was evident indian team played kamikaze cricket and paid the prize for it. What does Dhoni expect ?