Disappointed he might be after England snatched a thriller to level the Twenty20 series, but Indian skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni still defended his inexperienced and floundering pace attack by saying that the young bowlers need to be backed. "I think the way we started the bowling, we gave away too many runs bowling short. That is generally the case, the bowlers see a lively wicket or a bit of bounce and they tend to bowl short," Dhoni said after England clinched six-wicket win thanks to a last-ball six.
"It was a wicket where you need to bowl slightly up then its more difficult for the batsmen to score," he told reporters in the post-match conference.
Dhoni defended pacers Ashok Dinda and Parvinder Awana.
"It is wrong to judge a player's performance in a couple of T20 games. If you see Dinda, he has bowled well in whatever games he has played. He is someone who can bowl the yorkers really well but it was difficult to execute the yorker with the dew in place and ball getting wet.
"Apart from that they can bowl quick. Dinda is a good fielder also. It is important we back these young bowlers. Not to forget, we have got lots of injuries. Most of our first line bowlers have an injury or some kind of a niggle. We need to back the bowlers especially the fast bowlers," he said.
"...in the first few games everyone feels the pressure especially if it's a bowler, they feel the pressure slightly more because cricket is a game of batsmen.
"If you lose while defending then people say the bowlers didn't bowl well and if you are chasing, and if you don't chase then they say ten runs too many were given by bowlers. It is a bit unfair on them but overall they will improve," he added.
Dinda picked up one wicket after conceding 44 runs, while Awana gave away 42 runs and went wicketless but Dhoni supported them.
"These are the bowlers who have done really well and these are the fast bowlers who can bowl really quick. I feel it is important, especially this time of the year to have bowlers who can bowl really quick, so that they can push the batsmen on to the backfoot," Dhoni said.
"If you see the spinners bowled well. It gets tough for them when the ball gets wet. I was happy with their performance. We could have scored maybe 10 more runs because we were in a position and they bowled the last 3-4 overs well and we couldn't put too many runs on the board," he added.
He lauded the efforts of Yuvraj Singh, who bagged three wickets giving away only 17 runs, and said the spinners gave the team a decent shot at a win.
"I think the start was not really great for us but overall I think the spinners brought us again into the game. Yuvraj again was brilliant but unfortunately we couldn't finish it off," he said.
Asked if he was confident about winning the match with the tourists needing three runs off the last ball, Dhoni said, "In cricket you don't expect (the outcome) because if you are expecting then you get disappointment.
"What was important is that you back the bowler to execute what he wants to execute and just accept the result. You have to accept it was a good shot and the bowler failed to execute what he wanted to do and you have to accept the result. I think Eoin Morgan batted very well."