Article

Dhoni blames batsmen, Cook celebrates

9 December 2012 08:14

India skipper MS Dhoni has blamed the batsmen for the seven-wicket loss to England in the third Test that saw the visitors take a 2-1 series lead.

India frittered away the advantage of batting first by making just 316 in the first innings and collapsed in their second dig, in which they lost six wickets for 36 runs and were eventually bowled out for 247.

They were also staring at an innings defeat before R Ashwin (91) ensured that England had to chase 41 runs for victory.

"We need to give bowlers a few more runs. We haven't scored consistently over 300. On this wicket we should have scored 450 or above. The batsmen who got starts didn't make it matter," Dhoni said on Sunday.

"In the second innings, it was like a landslide we couldn't stop."

Dhoni also said he had no thoughts of quitting as it was his responsibility to get the team back to winning ways.

"The easiest thing for me to say right now is to say, 'I quit captaincy' and be a part of the side. But that's like running away from the responsibility," Dhoni said.

"Of course there are others who will decide. There is BCCI and the administrative people who also want to look into that.

"For me, my responsibility is to get the team together and be prepared for the next Test match. This is where experience will count. You have got the right mix of experienced and fresh guys", he pointed out.

"As a leader, this is a challenge that has been thrown up to me or towards me. It's always good to lead a side when everybody is doing well. That's a time when you don't need a leader. Leading a side is when the team is not doing well.

"You would try to gel the team well and back the senior guys and try to move in the right direction."

England captain and man of the match Alastair Cook hailed a 'great' team performance.

"It was a great performance level for four-and-a-half days," Cook said.

"Everyone performed from one to 11 and that's what you need in these conditions. Our bowlers - on the first day - to keep India to 300 on that wicket was a fantastic effort.

"And after the start they got to get six wickets in that session yesterday really won us the game. It was a credit to the hard work they've put in that they can perform in these conditions."

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