Dhoni: Nothing we tried worked on that deck


India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni says he ran out of ideas when South Africa's batsmen were running rampant in the fifth ODI on Sunday, and that nothing his bowlers tried could thwart the Proteas.

South Africa won by 214 runs to take the series, after posting a whopping 438 for four. AB de Villiers scored a 57-ball century, while Quinton de Kock and Faf du Plessis also recorded tons.

Dhoni said the track was a batting paradise, and one that his spinners got nothing out of. South Africa's fast bowlers, on the other hand, were able to extract some life, and removed India for 224 runs.

Dhoni said: "If you see the wicket, it was a true batting wicket. There was no turn on offer for the spinners. Our fast bowlers, yes, they can swing the ball but when it's flat they are not the ones who can push the batsmen on to the backfoot.

"Even if we have bowlers who bowl quick, they don't get the same amount of bounce from the same areas, as we don't hit the deck as hard.

"Our strength is entirely different and if you see this wicket, all our bowlers as a unit, you very rarely see everybody going for runs – your fast bowler has gone for runs, your spinners have gone for runs.

"That was the reason, once the partnership happened and once they looked to accelerate, it was very difficult for us to stop boundaries.

"Almost all the strategies were used – from the fast bowlers, to yorkers, to cramping the batsmen, to using the short-pitched deliveries. The same was with the spinners – you tried cramping them up, bowling wide.

"But there are days when it doesn't work. Also, when the wicket is so true and you have that kind of a partnership, it becomes very difficult to stop the opposition.

"It has happened in cricket, it keeps happening. What happens is that if you face a similar scenario the next time you have to make sure that you don't let the opposition score so many runs.

"Something that you can look to chase is something that's very important to stop the opposition at and taking a few catches may help."

India now look to the four-match Test series, though Dhoni has retired from the format and will hand the captaincy over to Virat Kohli.