Christchurch:Smarting from the seven-wicket defeat in the tour opener against New Zealand, India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni on Wednesday attributed the loss to the irresponsible batting by his teammates.
The Indian captain, suffering his third defeat in 12 T20 matches, felt that his batsmen needlessly went after the Kiwi attack without proper planning, which led to his side losing too many wickets at the beginning of the innings.
"I think most of the batsmen batted brilliantly but the mistake we committed was that we went with the momentum. Maybe one of the batsmen could have realised that we had got off to a flier and stayed put at the crease," said Dhoni.
"Throughout the IPL and Twenty20 games we have seen that even if you bat out 20 overs, you don't score more than 200 runs.
"So you have to realise whether you are happy with a score of 180 or 190. Or whether you look for those extra 25 runs which we don't actually need and end up getting 160-odd, a total which is difficult for the bowlers to defend in conditions like these and on wickets that are placid," Dhoni said.
Commending New Zealand for their measured approach, Dhoni said, "They got a good start though they didn't get off to a flier like us. One thing is for sure, in Twenty20 we need wickets in hand at the end and that's what they did. If you have five wickets in hand in the last five overs, I think you have an upper hand."
On whether India were short of a seamer today, Dhoni said, "This is the kind of team that we have always played with where an extra spinner or a part-time spinner has contributed. If we play an extra seamer the batting is not as long and deep as you would prefer in a Twenty20 game. I was quite happy with the kind of combination that we played with," said Dhoni.
The Indian captain, however, was happy with the bowlers' performance.
"The bowlers did a fantastic job, especially Harbhajan Singh, who was playing after a long time. He was in good rhythm and was bowling the yorker superbly. Zaheer Khan and Ishant Sharma contributed as well," Dhoni said.
Taking stock of the seven-wicket defeat, Dhoni said, "One area we need to improve upon is analysing the situation. I think most of the batsmen batted well and were looking in good nick. At times you have to analyse whether you are happy with the extra 25 runs or get to a total your bowlers can defend.
"One thing for sure is we have learnt a lot from our mistakes. We are a good side that learns very quickly. Fortunately, we have youngsters who are willing to learn from the mistakes. If we don't commit these mistakes again we have a very good chance," Dhoni said.
Asked if New Zealand would have the psychological edge after winning the tour opener, Dhoni said, "New Zealand know that if we don't commit these mistakes again, they will have to chase a big score. It's not about putting pressure on the opposition but about performing on the field. You can win a game with a big margin but the next day again it's a fresh start where you have to do it all over again.
"One or two games don't matter as long as you don't lose a series and get bogged down. For us it is important to do well in every game," he added.