'One of my best centuries'

Chennai: Losing the toss, India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni feels, is one of the main reasons behind India's six-wicket defeat against Pakistan in the first one-dayer at the MA Chidambaram Stadium on Sunday. "It was a bad toss to lose. Conditions were difficult and it was not easy to bat first," said Dhoni at the post-match media conference.

The following are excerpts

On his century

It was one of my best centuries though I don't have plenty to choose from! When you bat at No. 6 or 7, you don't get too many chances also. That way, I was happy to get the century. It was very important also for the team. It looked unlikely at one point in time. We lost early wickets and it was necessary for someone to carry on. I am happy that I could do that.

His thoughts while playing the innings

When I came in to bat, all that Raina and I had in mind was to post a respectable total. We thought that once we manage to get past the 35th over, then we will give it a thought. There was not much for the fast bowlers after 15 overs. But their spinners also bowled well.

Whether he was tired towards the end of his innings…

It was like a cramp or muscle pull… Luckily I did not suffer from it in the end. When the sun comes out after the rain, the weather becomes very harsh… And then this kind of problem crops up. Good I did not pull up any muscle and was able to carry on.

Turning point of the match…

It was a bad toss to lose. Conditions were difficult and it was not easy to bat first. Pakistan bowled very well. Their bowlers bowled at the right places. Under this kind of conditions, one feels tempted to ball short but they managed to keep it up to the bat. They also swung the ball well. We recovered, but 227 was not a good enough total.

On the failure of the top order…

It is easier said than done. The ball was moving a lot in the first 10 overs. There was also moisture on the wicket. Things, however, improved in the latter stage of the innings. But then, we will have to improve our batting. Perhaps, we did not stand up to it.

Whether Ajinkya Rahane should have replaced Gautam Gambhir or Virender Sehwag

It is not that easy. It is easy to say now since they did not get runs. But Sehwag was brought back into the one-day squad with a plan that he would play. Everyone will get an opportunity.

Plans for the next two matches…

Our target is always to win a series. Not to forget the fact that we have to improve and make a few changes in our plans. We also have to adapt to the new rules. Had we played one batsman short, we would not have reached even 227 in this match.

On the new rules…

For a spinner, with five fielders inside, it will be difficult… That too on flat wickets. Someone like Saeed Ajmal, who has lot of variations, can still manage. But we are sometimes managing with part-time spinners. That's a difficult job.


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