Dhoni: We let Moeen bowl well

England

India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni was frustrated by the way his side lost the third Test against England in Southampton, saying the batsmen allowed spinner Moeen Ali to do as well as he did.

India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni was frustrated by the way his side lost the third Test against England in Southampton, saying the batsmen allowed spinner Moeen Ali to do as well as he did.

Moeen took eight wickets in the match, six of those in the second innings as India were all out for 178. They lost by 266 runs, and Dhoni felt they should have tried harder to combat Moeen, a spinner many consider a part-timer.

The skipper said after the match: "That's what international cricket is all about. It was not like we were expecting England to win.

"We knew they would come back strongly at us, and for us also it was a new challenge to keep the momentum going after the Lord's win. This Test showed some areas where we have to improve.

"To win Test matches, we need to take 20 wickets. But in this particular game we were not able to take even 10 wickets, and that was a setback to a certain extent.

"I thought our batsmen played the fast bowlers better, but we allowed Moeen to bowl his line and length. There was considerable amount of wear and tear on the pitch that went his way, and there were a lot of close-in fielders too.

"I just felt that we could have been a bit more positive against him."

He was also frustrated by his bowling attack's lack of penetration, as England racked up 569/7 and 205/4, both knocks declared. They were without Ishant Sharma, who was injured after taking many wickets at Lord's.

But the captain said young swing bowler Bhuvneshwar Kumar did well considering how many overs he had to bowl, while debutant Pankaj Singh also impressed him. But Pankaj took no wickets and went for 179 runs, the worst Test debut figures.

Dhoni said: "I think Bhuvi seemed a bit tired. He came back nicely after that first spell, but I thought he was slightly on the shorter side. He got the right length in the first two Tests, but here he was slightly short.

"Apart from that I am quite happy with the effort put in by the fast bowlers. It was a different kind of wicket, where you have to hit the surface hard to get some purchase.

"That's where I found Pankaj very impressive. He is a tall guy and got a fair amount of bounce and was unlucky not to get a few wickets. Overall I am happy with him."

He was then asked abut having a fifth bowler, and Dhoni said this didn't work when they had Stuart Binny in the side earlier in the series, and they preferred to have an extra batsman in Rohit Sharma in the line-up.

He added: "In the first couple of games we played with that extra bowler, who was part of the side. But we never really used him to that extent, giving him only eight to 10 overs.

"That's the reason we thought of making our batting stronger by getting Rohit in. At the same time, he could also give us those eight to 10 overs or more. That was the thinking behind it, and we need to go back and think what's needed to be done according to the wicket for the next two Test matches."

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