M.S. Dhoni said that India struggled to stay afloat once England enjoyed a good start from Craig Kieswetter and captain Alastair Cook in the second match of the NatWest Series here on Tuesday night.
“In a 23-over game if you are able to score 187, it is a good score but the opposition had a good start. They scored 100 runs in the first 10 overs which meant that in the last 13 overs, they never had to take any risk,” Dhoni said.
The Indian captain rued the absence of an adequate fifth-bowler option. “The fifth bowler has been an issue. Today our main bowlers, including Ashwin, went for runs and the bowling department needs to step up.
“None of our bowlers are real quick and they look to swing the ball but when it doesn't swing and the ball gets wet, it becomes difficult. Once Ravindra Jadeja becomes part of the side, what really happens is that he is the kind of part-timer who can bowl well not to forget when Yuvraj is there we could manoeuvre around. Now it is difficult when you have just two (part-time) bowlers — Virat and Raina,” Dhoni said.
The skipper said that Ajinkya Rahane should be fit for the next game despite requesting a runner here on Tuesday. “It is not a serious issue and he won't miss the next game as of now,” Dhoni said and admitted that the lower order's lack of runs forced him to field a jet-lagged Manoj Tiwary.
“It is a bit tough on the player but the thing is our lower order batsmen are not very effective in these conditions. You are representing your country and at times certain things are needed and these difficulties make life interesting,” the Indian captain said.
Meanwhile, Cook admitted that briefly he had thought about skipping the game as it turned out almost to be a Twenty20 fixture, which is not his strength.
“That (dropping himself) was mentioned in the dressing room but I am pleased with my form. At the half-way stage we thought it was a par wicket and the target was gettable. It was proved by the way we chased it down,” he said and also praised India's batsmen, especially Suresh Raina.