'Crowd responsible for India's sloppy fielding'

Updated: Thursday, August 9, 2012, 16:00 [IST]
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Colombo: Indian captain Dhoni accused Sri Lankan crowd, for distractions which resulted in the sloppy show by Indian fielders during the third one-dayer against Sri Lanka on Sunday night.

India had a miserable day in the field as they let got as many as four chances during the Lankan chase, which made the defence of a modest 237-run total difficult.

"Since Sri Lanka had a colourful crowd it becomes difficult to spot the ball in the night specially after it (ball) becomes a bit dirty," Dhoni said after India won by 33 runs to take a 2-1 lead in the five-match series.

Dhoni frankly admitted that Indian team felt the heat when Mahela Jaywardene and Thilan Thushara were cruising towards the victory target.

On being asked about India's strategy to go with four bowlers, he said, "Having a fifth bowler is a luxury. We have to make do with four bowlers but we have bowlers like Yuvraj, Raina and Virat, who can bowl. We needed one extra batsman".

Dhoni, who rescued India with a brilliant 76-run knock, also admitted that he has changed his batting style.

"Earlier, India had batsmen who could play till the end and I could go for big shots early. I am however happy that I still have strike rate of 90 though I would have been happier to have a strike rate of over hundred."

Rival skipper Jayawardene, who hit an incredible 94-run knock to lift his team from pits and almost took it to victory, said they did not "deserve to win".

When asked if opener Kumar Sangakkara was not performing due to pressure of opening the innings, he shot back, "When you are scoring centuries you don't ask these questions. Every batsman has highs and lows. The idea of playing Sangakkara as opener is to have some senior batsman to get more balls to play".

Jayawardene confidently said that he knew what his team was doing but said it was difficult to live up to the expectations before the home crowd.

"Tough position to be in. It is a challenging situation playing at home do not want to lose series. We know where we are going wrong," he said.

Story first published:  Monday, August 25, 2008, 13:49 [IST]
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