India skipper MS Dhoni put the blame for the 6-run defeat in the 2nd ODI against New Zealand on the batsmen, pointing to the regular loss of wickets during the chase as the reason and said 10 per cent more contribution from any of the batsmen would have changed the outcome.
"If you see there were quite a few partnerships, but we kept losing wickets after every partnership. When you are chasing a score like this it is important that you need to keep a few wickets because the runs were coming,”Dhoni told a post-match news conference after Thursday’s day/night game in New Delhi.
“Even if you need six or seven runs an over, in the end, it can easily be achieved but our problem was that we kept losing the wickets. In fact, in the 41st over we lost two wickets.
"It's not about one batsman, I felt we lost wickets throughout. Any batsman could have said that had I contributed 10 per cent more we would have won the game. So it was the responsibility of the whole batting unit. I felt the bowlers did well."
Chasing 243 for victory, India got off to a poor start and were stuttering at 73/4 by the 20th over. Partnerships between Dhoni and Kedar Jadhav, who top-scored with 41, and Hardik Pandya and Umesh Yadav brought India close to victory.
The Indian limited-overs skipper defended his decision to bowl first.
"I felt it was best to bat in the daytime as the game kept progressing the wicket got slightly slower and slower with a bit of variable bounce," he said. "Also, if you lose one or two wickets that slows you down to an extent. Then, if you have that partnership and still lose a wicket again, again you have to start from scratch.
"If any of our batsmen had batted 15 minutes more we would have won the game. The bowlers did well to come back into the game. Initially, it was difficult to contain their batsmen and they played some proper shots, not to forget we dropped two catches off [Kane] Williamson. That also has a bit of a bearing. Overall I was happy with 240-245 because that was very much something we could have achieved," Dhoni explained.
Dhoni praised pacer Jasprit Bumrah, who produced a wonderful spell of 3/35, for his ability to bowl yorkers consistently at the death.
"Right from the time he began his international career he has always been someone who can bowl yorkers at will, and that's why he has been someone I can always bank upon,” Dhoni said.
“A lot of times I had to see how every bowler is bowling and then decide who will bowl the last few but with Bumrah be it any condition or situation he has always been someone who gives me those last few overs. He practices that way, he has an awkward action. Still credit to him for consistently bowling those yorkers."