We lost the game in the first six overs: Harbhajan

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Published: Tuesday, April 17, 2012, 13:20 [IST]
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Shot selection was poor, says Harbhajan

Mumbai, Apr 17: Mumbai Indians skipper Harbhajan Singh admitted that poor shot selection of his top order batsmen led to his team's humiliating loss against Delhi Daredevils at the Wankhede stadium in Mumbai.

Mumbai were bowled out for a mere 92 runs which Sehwag and Co comfortably chased with 31 balls to spare to clinch a seven-wicket win and Harbhajan blamed the poor performance of his batsmen.

"Yes, the score was low. There was some bad selection of shots. We lost lot of wickets in the first six overs to be 20-odd for two which was the main cause of not achieving whatever we wanted to on the score front. We lost the game in the first six overs," said the 31-year-old off-spinner during the post-match press conference on Monday.

"It was difficult for us to score runs as we continued losing wickets. We lost Dinesh Karthik early on. (Openers) Davy Jacobs and (Richard) Levi did not give us the start we were looking for. Rohit (Sharma) was looking good, but unfortunately he also got out. We were not able to rotate the strike and also giving away wickets. That was the turning point in the game," he explained.

Mumbai, put into bat first, lost two wickets for runs in 3.1 overs and then collapsed to 44 for six after 10.2 overs. Overall the Mumbai Indians failed with the bat on a good, bouncy Wankhede track.

Top scorer Harbhjan with a 22-ball-33, refused to term it as reckless batting and a foolish run-out which led to Ambati Rayudu's dismissal.

"What do you mean by that (reckless batting)?" he replied.

"Rohit was batting well, unfortunately he got out to a ball which is supposed to go for four. Anyway I think he's been doing great for the team. Rayudu got run out, Apart from that the first two wickets were important," Harbhajan said.

Harbhajan admitted it was a good track and felt 170 would be a good score to defend. "We have to put some runs in the first six overs. If we get a good start then any team can get 160-170. This is a kind of wicket where if you get a good start you can put runs on the board. It didn't happen to us and we have to look at the options," he said.

Harbhajan praised man of the match Shahbaz Nadeem for his bowling during the powerplay overs, but said that his batsmen were at fault.

"Of course we let him bowl those three overs. We played rash shots against him. It wasn't something special he did, he was not spinning the ball much nor the flight trajectory was really great.

"Still you need to have a big heart to bowl in powerplay and he did a tremendous job for Delhi. But I think we should take the blame for not batting well against him. I don't think he bowled any special, but we batted poorly," the veteran of 98 Tests and 229 ODIs said.

Harbhajan feels the Wankhede pitch is the best in India.

"It's a great wicket. There was good bounce and carry and their fast bowlers bent their backs and got lot of bounce. Wankhede is probably the best wicket to play cricket in India. There is true bounce and if you have the capability as a batsman you can score a lot of runs, and as a seamer, you will have a lot of bounce.

"As a spinner also there is a lot of bounce and you can get wickets by beating them in air. But unfortunately in this format nobody looks to do that," he said.

Harbhajan, who did not bowl in the game but wanted others, who had not played, get an opportunity.


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