Kolkata, Jan 4: Humiliated at home for the second straight time in less than a month, India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni on Thursday blamed his batsmen and termed their performance "disappointing", but added that the team needs to access the situation with a cool-headed approach.
An insipid India slumped to yet another series defeat with a pathetic display as arch-rivals Pakistan spanked the hosts by 85 runs in the second cricket one-dayer to take an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match series here today.
"It was a very good effort by bowlers to pull them back and restrict them to 250. As a unit they have done well. In India, if you bowl first and restrict your opposition to 250, it's a good effort.
"But again our batting was disappointing. It's important to have wickets in hand in the end. If you have wickets in hand, it's possible to score 80-odd runs in the last 10 overs," Dhoni said.
"It's very important to keep rotating and not give away wickets. There will be phases that you have to see through but we could not cross that period. We lost five-six wickets and we were not really into the game. It seemed 250 was a big score from then on," he added.
Chasing 251 for victory, India were all out for 165, but Dhoni was a bit defensive when it came to the whole team.
"It's tough to come and give proper explanations. You just cant turn up and blame the players. At the end, we are a team and we lose as a team. As a unit you've to bear the loss and still keep moving forward. It's a challenge only one person can come, and I'm representing them. As I said last time, I would love to be the punching bag.
"Everybody knows it's disappointing. When you are going through transition, you want your senior players to perform and groom the juniors."
Dhoni said they need somebody to take up responsibility in batting. "Once two-three wickets start falling, you need someone to soak up the pressure and consolidate the innings.
"If they don't perform the pressure is on the juniors. It's important to do well as a batting unit. It's important to take up the responsibility and share the responsibility," Dhoni said.
"Especially after the game, I don't think you should be really expressing yourself. Players are high on emotion after a loss. You need to be very calm and cool and look ahead to see what needs to be done. At the end people need to go and perform and that's what the criteria is."
Asked about his batsmen falling to pacers every time, Dhoni said, "It's a difficult question to answer. When the bowlers are doing well, you have to keep out the good deliveries and score off loose ones. This is a basic point.
"It does not matter how many batsmen you're playing. But with every fall of wicket, the pressure starts mounting. Whatever it is, we have to improve that."
Dhoni, however, defended Kohli and felt he was dismissed by a beauty of a delivery.
"It's not that the top three were not performing in last 14 months. Virat got out to a ball you can't really say much."
This being a home series, Dhoni said the side was really under the pressure to perform.
"It's rightly said that we had a lot of pressure being a home series. If you play many matches, you know how to come out of the situation. I think it's just a matter of time.
"The main pressure is created by the opposition. It would have made more sense if we created pressure on Pakistan. It's easy to answer when you win matches. When it's a closely fought series then the pressure is on both the teams."
On opting to bowl, Dhoni said: "The pitch remained quite the same. I felt slightly better with the lights. There was something for the fast bowlers."
And about Nasir Jamshed, who scored his second consecutive ton against India, Dhoni said: "You need to have a batsman to get off to a good start. It does not matter at what number he's batting. It really helps to rotate the innings and take calculative risks. Thats what he showed in his both the innings. He batted with good composure."