x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Dhoni admits improvement needed in bowling and fielding

MS Dhoni would have loved for his team to play better cricket in the Champions Trophy, but could not bring himself to decide if they fared badly during the course of the tournament.

Mahendra Singh Dhoni would have loved for his team to play better cricket in the Champions Trophy, but could not bring himself to decide if they fared badly during the course of the tournament. India ended their campaign with a seven-wicket victory over a second-string West Indies on Wednesday, in an inconsequential match. India's effort came to nothing only a few hours before when Group A rivals Australia beat Pakistan by two wickets in a nail-biting climax to join the World Twenty20 champions in the last four of the tournament.

The Australians' gritty performance left Dhoni to reflect on their loss to Pakistan in their opening league match on Saturday. A 54-run defeat cost them a semi-final place as their match against Australia was abandoned due to rain. Australia's victory over Pakistan meant the former topped their pool to win another confrontation with England. Dhoni was left to reflect on their overall performance. "You feel disappointed, but at the same time it's not about where you ranked," Dhoni said, when asked about India entering the competition as one of the favourites. "It's about how good you were in the tournament.

"It's tough for me to decide whether we were too bad in the tournament or not. Because one odd game, the first game that we played. Of course, we were off the boil. It's very difficult to say if this performance was bad. "We played three games - we won one, lost one and one was a washout so it's tough for me to decide." Asked about what aspects of their game proved a let down in South Africa, Dhoni highlighted their bowling. He said: "We made quite a few mistakes in this tournament. Of course, giving width to the batsmen is one of the areas.

"At the same time, I don't think it's such a serious problem that can't be solved. We can definitely put in a little more effort with fielding. Every guy can get better by 10 to 15 per cent." He also felt the bowlers should contribute more with the bat. "That's one of the reasons why the Australians are good because they are playing six specialist bowlers and most of them can bat." * With agencies