Dhoni defends his rookies’ batting mistakes

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India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni has defended his young batsmen after the side’s 19-run loss to New Zealand in the fourth ODI, saying they would learn from their mistakes.

India needed 261 to win in Ranchi, but were all out for 241, depsite strong contributions from the top order. It was the middle order that faltered, collapsing from 128/2 to 167/7.

The likes of Hardik Pandya and Manish Pandey were out to shots they should not have been playing in the context of the game, but Dhoni said it was not the end of the world.

The skipper said: “Cricket has changed, people like to play big shots. It is important to not tell them to stop playing the shots; you don’t want them to go into their shells.

“They played their shots when the ball was in their area. The Nos. 5 and 6 are quite new, they will learn their own way.

“Some will play big shots, some will take it deep. Once they have played 15-20 games, they will figure out what works for them.

“It’s important they get games like these and finally they’ll figure out a way what suits them best to chase down a total like this.

“Unless they get an opportunity like this it will be very difficult because that’s how you get experience.

“You can learn a lot by watching but ultimately when you feel the pressure and go through that motion, that’s where you learn a lot.

“It will be a good learning curve for them. Give them some time.”

The series is level at two all with one deciding match to play, on 29 October at Visakhapatnam.

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