After losing the first of their five-match One-Day International (ODI) series by a slender margin of five runs against South Africa on Sunday, India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni said it was a game they should have won.
Chasing a target of 304, the hosts managed 298/7 in their quota of 50 overs. Rohit Sharma’s splendid 150-run innings went in vain here at the Green Park ground.
“The outcome was not great for us, there were quite a few things that went wrong, but I think we showed great character to fight on this wicket. We should have won the game,” Dhoni said at the post-match presentation ceremony.
The skipper rued having lost one of his best spinners Ravichandran Ashwin, who injured his fingers while bowling his fifth over and added that the fast bowlers should have bowled better at the death.
“It was unfortunate that we lost Ashwin. We missed Ash’s (Ashwin’s) six overs that was crucial because he was our best spinner… until that point the plan was working beautifully but I had to get more overs from Binny and Raina. In the end, I thought our bowlers should have done a bit better in the slog overs as there was plenty of reverse swing,” Dhoni said.
The 34-year-old, however, praised the knocks of Rohit and Rahane (60) who helped India inch closer to the target but regretted that the willowers failed to pick the gaps when they needed to.
“I thought that partnership between Rohit and Rahane was very good, they made it look easy. It was a bit difficult to bat out there as it did not come on nicely if the ball was banged short. We lost a bit of momentum from the 34th or the 35th over to the 40th or the 41st over. There were runs on offer, but we didn’t hit the gaps,” he said.
“It was a fantastic innings from Rohit. As I said, it was not easy and the fast bowlers were getting reverse swing and he made it look easy.”