Nagpur:After being comprehensively beaten by Sri Lanka in the first Twenty20 International here on Wednesday, India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni said his team gave away too many runs after starting well in the match.
"We started well and had given away only 16 to 18 runs in the first four overs. Both Ishant Sharma and Ashish Nehra began well but then to give away 200-odd runs in the next 16 overs cost us the match," said Dhoni after his team was beaten by 29 runs by the Lankans.
Dhoni conceded that Sri Lanka outplayed his side who came into the tie after being crowned as the world's top Test team following their 2-0 victory in the three-match rubber against the visitors.
"In this game we were outplayed. (Lanka skipper Kumar) Sangakkara played brilliantly and carried on till the end. We also dropped a few catches. We could have done better and had we restricted them to around 190 it could have been different," he said.
He said the middle order failed to get going after the brisk start given by openers Gautam Gambhir, who top scored with a fine 55, and Virender Sehwag.
"The middle order failed but if you see the asking rate had climbed up and we had to go for the shots. But they went to hand. Both Yuvraj and I got out that way," he pointed out.
Dhoni defended his decision to field first on winning the toss and said it was because the performance of his bowlers in the death overs had not been good in the recent past.
"We felt the wicket was good for the entire match and we did not want to put pressure on the bowlers. In Twenty20 games things change during the slog phase from the 12 or 13 overs onwards and our bowlers have been struggling at the death. But we could have done better in the field and not conceded two boundaries every over after the good beginning," he said.
He did not think his slow bowlers Pragyan Ojha and Yusuf Pathan paled in comparison to Sanath Jayasuriya's display despite the fact that the two Indian bowlers conceded over 80 runs combined in six overs while the Lanka veteran, bowling his slow stuff, got two for 19 from his four.
"The ball was turning much the only thing the shots went to the hands," said Dhoni.