The narrow defeat to New Zealand notwithstanding, India’s captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni preferred to focus on the positives in the post-match press conference on Tuesday here.
The 31-year-old gloveman said, “out of 100 matches, there will be one or two occasions when you will fail to score six runs off three balls. Unfortunately, it was one of those matches for us today.”
Satisfied with the team’s bowling, Dhoni believed that Balaji’s good performance at the death was particularly pleasing since the slog overs have been a major area of concern for India.
The skipper added that it was great to see Yuvraj’s confident display and averred that the pressure on the all-rounder will now considerably reduce as his comeback game was out of the way.
Opener Virat Kohli’s 70, which gave India’s chase the perfect platform, was another major positive according to the captain.
Focussing on the reasons behind the defeat, Dhoni expressed regret at not being able to finish off the match with Yuvraj. The skipper said that the pitch slowed down in the second innings and made batting difficult for the lower-order batsmen.
Looking ahead to the World T20, the 31-year-old said that Virender Sehwag will come back into the team for the next match and there won’t be much experimentation with the team composition ahead of India’s opener against Afghanistan.
Kiwi all-rounder James Franklin concurred with Dhoni’s view regarding the slowing down of the track and said it helped the Kiwis to cut back the runs in the death overs.
The Kiwis were asked to bat first by the Indian captain and Franklin admitted that he was surprised by the move. “We were going to bat first. Playing in the IPL, I always considered Chennai to be a bat-first pitch”, said the 31-year-old.
Terming the match as “topsy-turvy”, Franklin believed that Kohli’s dismissal was the possible turning point. Looking forward, Franklin claimed that this victory would give the Kiwis a lot of confidence.