India blame Dhoni-Jadhav crawl on slowing pitch

Vastavam web: India’s Mahendra Singh Dhoni failed to do justice to his reputation as a ‘finisher’ in Sunday’s loss to England but his team defended his display in the final stages of the World Cup group match at Edgbaston. India needed 71 runs from the final five overs to maintain their unbeaten run in the tournament with former captain Dhoni and Kedar Jadhav in the middle.

The duo, however, looked content knocking the ball around rather than going for big hits and managed only 39 in the last five overs. “When Mahi and Kedar were batting, they were trying to hit (boundaries) but were not able to because of the slowness of the pitch,” Rohit Sharma, who topscored for India with 102, said after the team’s first loss in the tournament.

India captain Virat Kohli then defended Dhoni’s “calculated” approach, saying the wicketkeeper-batsman was experienced enough to know the demand of the occasion. Kohli defended Dhoni again on Sunday after the team’s 31-run loss to the hosts. “I think MS was trying really hard to get the boundary,” Kohli, whose fifth half-century in a row went in vain, said at the presentation ceremony. “They were just bowling good areas. We’ll have to sit down and assess and improve in the next game.”