'Dhoni's innings was the turning point' - Inzamam
For a captain whose side find themselves 2-1 down after being one-up, Inzamam-ul-Haq looked relatively upbeat while assessing his team's five-wicket loss&
Inzamam-ul-Haq said Mahendra Singh Dhoni's attack sealed the match for India
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For a captain whose side find themselves 2-1 down after being one-up, Inzamam-ul-Haq looked relatively upbeat while assessing his team's five-wicket loss. One reason might be that they at least improved on their performance in Rawalpindi, and Inzamam took some solace from the
performance of his bowlers here.
"Our bowlers bowled well today and I thought they were unlucky not to get wickets early in the innings. We also dropped few chances early on and that made a difference," said Inzamam. But he also lauded the performance of India in their chase. "Our boys have done well and the bowlers bowled better in this game than the previous one. We didn't play that badly but I think the Indians played good cricket."
In particular, Inzamam praised Mahendra Singh Dhoni, for his outstanding 46-ball 72. "We put up a good total and bowled well but did not take our chances. When we got Tendulkar out, the match was in our control but Dhoni was outstanding. To chase seven an over is not easy but Dhoni's innings was special that took the game away from us. I think Dhoni's innings was the turning point for the match."
Pakistan changed their batting order today, opening with Shahid Afridi and pushing Kamran Akmal to one-down. The move, as Pakistan collapsed to 82 for four, was questionable in hindsight but Inzamam asserted that flexibility in the batting order is often the key in one-day cricket. "We took chance with Shahid Afridi as opener and we didn't succeed. But we have to
flexible in our batting order in ODIs and adjust it according to the situation. It didn't work today but we didn't avail our chances early on because I thought 288 was a good total."
This series has been marked by the side batting second's ability to chase totals and it proved so again here. Although Rahul Dravid won his first toss of the series and put Pakistan in, Inzamam said he didn't feel the toss was that important to the results so far. "I don't think the toss will be so important. It depends more on the type of wickets we get. England batted first here a few months ago and scored 300-plus so the toss isn't that vital."
Now 2-1 down with two games to play, Pakistan will have to muster all the spirit they have shown over the last year to win the series. Inzamam said, "If you go down 2-1 in five-match series it's a tricky situation. India has definitely edge but it doesn't mean we should lose heart. It's a
one-day game, India has played good cricket in the last two games and we haven't availed our chances. We are not under pressure. We need to play better cricket and improve our fielding. We will try to win the series and we are capable of making a comeback in the series."
Osman Samiuddin is Pakistan editor of Cricinfo