Kiwi pacers’ slower ones were hard to put away: Dhoni

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Hamilton, Jan 22 (IANS) India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni said that slower deliveries by Kiwi pacers made the difference as the visitors lost the second ODI by 15 runs and also their No.1 ranking at the Seddon Park here Wednesday.

“The New Zealand fast bowlers, when they bowled the slower ones, it was hard to get them away. It was quite difficult to hit them away consistently, and in the end we couldn’t get close to the 290 we needed,” said Dhoni, who struck a valuable 56.

Set a rain-revised daunting target of 297 in 42 overs, India riding on some stellar show by Virat Kohli (78) and Dhoni (56) came tantalisingly close and reached 277/9 in 41.3 overs as rain interrupted again for the third time. Later, the victory margin was revised to 15 runs in favour of New Zealand.

New Zealand, put in by India, scored 271 for seven in 42 overs during when the game was held up twice due to rain for nearly two hours.

Dhoni said the Indian batsmen should have gone all out after the 25th or the 26th over.

“The last game I got out, and this game Virat (Kohli) got out, so it was important to keep continuing to build a partnership as it is hard for the players coming in to play their strokes freely. From the 25th/26th over we should have started to hit out, but it doesn’t always go to plan,” said Dhoni.

Dhoni also lauded his bowlers for an impressive show in the death overs.

“Yes, the fast bowlers did well for us. Bhuvi (Bhuvaneshwar Kumar) was good at the death, while (Mohammad) Shami has been performing quite consistently. We gave away a few extra runs but that is to be expected with the big hitters they have. It is better for the second team in limited-overs to know the target and what to do,” he said.

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