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Dhoni criticises top order batsmen

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GOT HIM: Peter Siddle celebrates Harbhajan Singh’s dismissal in the first ODI between India and Australia at Vadodara on Sunday.
GOT HIM: Peter Siddle celebrates Harbhajan Singh’s dismissal in the first ODI between India and Australia at Vadodara on Sunday.

K.C. Vijaya Kumar

Accolade for Harbhajan Singh; Ponting praises Siddle’s last over

Team failed to cash in on the Power Play: Dhoni

A sore elbow prevented Lee from bowling his quota

Vadodara: Indian captain M.S. Dhoni said that the top order did not get enough runs to sustain the chase against Australia in the first match of the Hero Honda Cup One-Day International series that commenced here on Sunday.

“The top order didn’t get much runs. Among the top six batsmen, there was only one fifty. When you are chasing a big total like this what you really want from the top order is that one of the guys gets a big hundred otherwise you want big partnerships to happen,” Dhoni said.

Dhoni also admitted that the team failed to cash in on the Power Play. “We lost four wickets in the Power Play without cashing in too much but thanks to Harbhajan Singh and Praveen Kumar, we got close.

The four wickets we lost in the Power Play was the turning point,” Dhoni said besides praising Ishant Sharma’s bowling and confirming that Yuvraj Singh will play in the second match at Nagpur on Wednesday.

Bad bowling

Meanwhile, Australian captain Ricky Ponting said that his team’s bowling in the last 10 overs was bad.

“Harbhajan didn’t take the game away from us though he did come close. Our bowling in the last 10 overs was bad. I don’t think that we can be that bad again,” Ponting said.

The Australian skipper praised Peter Siddle’s last over. “Siddle was calm and composed and it will help him in the long run. Shane Watson is one of our better finishers but he had finished his 10 and we gave it to Siddle and he did a good job,” Ponting said.

He added that Brett Lee had a sore elbow that prevented him from bowling his full quota of overs. Ponting also praised Michael Hussey, Tim Paine and Cameron White’s batting.

Preparations hindered

The Australian captain said that the Champions League that concluded on Friday in Hyderabad did hinder his team’s preparations ahead of the current seven-match ODI series against India.

Six of the squad members — Brett Lee, Doug Bollinger, Nathan Hauritz, Cameron White, Peter Siddle and Jon Holland — were busy playing for New South Wales Blues and Victoria Bushrangers before they joined the Australian squad at Vadodara.

“The fact that some of our players joined us last night and day before after the Champions League did hinder our preparations and team tactics. Three of the guys got in last night after half past eight and we took the team bus to the ground at seven in the morning and that hardly gave us any time to discuss and that makes this victory all the more special,” Ponting said.

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