Dhoni keen to stay at crease longer

'My responsibility as a batsman is to stay till the end and so far in this series, I have not been able to do that'

Dhoni plays a shot during the third ODI at Eden Park.

Scorecard | Photos | India live to fight another day | Missed opportunities

Auckland:
Even England’s Mike Brearley, one of the greatest captains the game has ever seen, would’ve struggled to understand Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s ‘art of captaincy’. The Indian skipper has a knack for delving deep into those details which any other cricketer will always struggle to explain.

The ‘process’, a word which Dhoni uses so many times during his media interactions, is never ending.

After losing the Hamilton ODI, this was skipper’s take on Indians’ death bowling: “We cannot give easy boundaries off something like a wide ball or something on the pads that goes through short fine for a boundary."

"Stuff like that really adds on (the pressure). Especially, if you don’t concede boundaries on the first and the sixth ball of the over, it really helps. That is one area where we are conceding quite a few runs. Either we are not starting well or we are not finishing that particular over well.”

Too many boundaries off the first and the last ball of the over. This is one data which many cricket statisticians may also have overlooked.

But not captain Dhoni.

On Saturday, after the thrilling tie at Eden Park, Dhoni had some more wisdom ready when Mail Today asked him about his fixation for fielding after winning the toss.

“Would it be wise to ask the batsmen to bat first and give the bowlers something to defend? In a way you may say that we are taking some pressure off batsmen by doing that. But other way is that we might ask the batsmen to give 325-340 runs to bowlers every time they bat.” Dhoninomics at its very best.

Not a man who shows his emotions easily, Dhoni knows that the tie in Auckland was snatched from the jaws of defeat and gives India a chance to level the series.

“I think we would have loved to win the game here. But at the same time, most important thing is being alive in the series and that’s what this tie does to us. We should have lost the game from 140 odd down for 5/6. The kind of partnership we got, we should have won from there but it didn’t go our way.”

From middle order to middle overs, Dhoni does not duck any delivery bowled at him.

“In the middle overs, we didn’t get the partnerships those were really needed. My responsibility as a batsman is to stay till the end and so far in this series, I have not been able to do that. I get out in between 40-43rd overs. It puts pressure on batsmen after me. Will be good if I can stay till 48-49th over,” he says.

So, is he happy to see Ravindra Jadeja finally back amongst runs? “We are certainly hoping that he develops as a batsman. Hopefully he gets more confidence out of this. He has been very consistent in bowling and hopefully will contribute more in terms of batting. This innings should help him.” Talk about Dhoni backing his players to the hilt. The ‘process’ is ongoing and endless.

ALSO SEE: Images from India vs New Zealand, 3rd ODI

Ross Taylor of New Zealand reacts during the One Day International match between New Zealand and India at Eden Park on January 25, 2014 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Anthony Au-Yeung/Getty ... more 
Ross Taylor of New Zealand reacts during the One Day International match between New Zealand and India at Eden Park on January 25, 2014 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Anthony Au-Yeung/Getty Images) less 
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Getty Images | Photo by Stringer / Anthony Au-Yeung
Sat 25 Jan, 2014 2:30 PM IST

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