After losing the opening T20 of the two-match series against West Indies by a whisker, India’s limited-overs skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni has admitted that it was his wrong execution of the last delivery from Dwayne Bravo which led to his side side down at the Central Broward Regional Park in Launderhill, Florida.
“I feel there were plenty of positives in this game because the way we chased down 245 runs, apart from the last ball. I felt we were totally in the game. Even the last ball, the thinking was right, the execution was wrong,” Dhoni was quoted as saying by ESPNcricinfo.
Chasing a humongous target of 245 runs, India fell just one run short to secure what would have been a record chase as they went nil-one in the series.
Dhoni, who was batting at the crease during the final six balls, said although he had guessed the last delivery from Bravo correct, he failed to execute it properly.
“You have to really guess what he's looking to bowl and according to that you play your shots. So if you guess the bowler well and execute well, you'll end up winning. Rather than thinking who is bowling, what's important is to think what his strength is and where he'll look to pitch the next delivery,” said Dhoni, who has broken Ricky Ponting’s record of playing most matches as captain of a side in international cricket.
The 35-year-old, however, couldn’t stop himself gushing over Bravo's skills.
Admitting that it was always tough to bat against 'experienced' bowler like Bravo, Dhoni believes that the Caribbean player was among the best when it comes to bowling in the death overs.
Despite India failed to chase down the third highest total in a T20 match, Dhoni heaped praise on his bowlers for restricting the West Indies back in after Johnson Charles and Evin Lewis shared a huge opening stand of 126 runs in just 9.3 overs.
“I felt the way the boys performed overall was very good. If we can improve how we bowl in the first six overs, in fact it was the first 12 overs where we gave away too many runs. I was very happy how we brought the opposition down when it came to the last eight overs. That really matters because that is something where we have struggled quite consistently but it was a good exposure to our bowlers and they finished up well to restrict them to 245,”he added.
The Indian skipper also lauded K.L. Rahul, who contributed a significant quick-fire knock of 110 runs.
“He has been very consistent. I feel that is a strength of Rahul also, compact player but at the same time unorthodox shots. He plays all over the ground, over covers, mid off, mid on. So, he is a complete cricketer. Of course, there's a long way to go for him but the way he has played in the last six months, it's very encouraging to see him bat,” Dhoni said.
India will now aim to level the series when they take on West Indies in the second T20 at the same venue later on Sunday.