Dhoni blames batsmen for Eden defeat

Describing the pitch as 'good one to bat', Dhoni called for more responsibility from batsmen.

Kolkata, Dec 9 (IANS): Skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni Sunday blamed batsmen for India's humiliating seven-wicket loss to England at the Eden Gardens.

The skipper said though his bowlers did well, their task was made difficult by the batsmen's failure to score runs.

"Our bowlers bowled well but if you don't score runs it becomes difficult. Spinners have done a really good job. A bit more contribution from the pacers would really help," Dhoni told the media.

The Indian batsmen put up a dismal show in the game. The hosts even lost six second innings wickets in the post lunch session Saturday.

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Describing the pitch as 'good one to bat', Dhoni called for more responsibility from batsmen.

"I think our batting will have to take the responsibility. We need to score more runs. The wicket was a very good one to bat on."

"We need to score par or par-plus score to give our bowler something to defend. Otherwise it is very difficult if you don't score more runs than your opponents in the first innings."

With the "legends" of Indian cricket like Rahul Dravid and V.V.S. Laxman hanging up their boots, Dhoni said it would take time before youngsters started performing.

"It is a difficult task (replacing legends). The new guys will always feel the extra pressure because the legends are not there," he said.

"They want to perform because they want to cement their place in the side. It is a situation where everyone will feel a bit of pressure but it is essential that they get rid of this. Self belief is important."

Dhoni also backed pace spearhead Zaheer Khan, who is not having a great series.

"He is not unfit. He has been training hard. Why he is not effective is a question to ponder. May be the batsmen are playing him well though he seems to bowl well. Bowlers do have a phase when they don't get wickets. Maybe he is going through that," added Dhoni.

India now trail 1-2 in the four match series and must win the final Test at Nagpur to draw level.

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