World Cup 2015: I am 33, I’m still running, I’m still fit, says MS Dhoni

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India’s captain MS Dhoni accepted the defeat gracefully and said Australia were a better team and they deserved to win. Dhoni also said that chasing 300 in a World Cup semi final was always going to be very difficult as the scoreboard pressure keeps mounting with every dot ball and the big occasion also creates a lot of pressure on the team second batting.

‘I think they (Australia) played very good cricket. Over 300 is a difficult score to chase, but I felt it was just above par. They were looking as if they will score 340 or maybe 350 but we came back quite well. But I felt we could have still bowled well. The reason being, in the afternoon, we got a bit of reverse swing going. I was a bit personally worried about the spinners without any foot marks on a fresh wicket, but their performance was good. I felt the fast bowlers could have done slightly better. But overall, we were quite happy with where we were. At the start of the tournament a lot of people didn’t really think we would come so far in the tournament. But at the same time, when you come to the knockout stages, you have to lift your game.

MS Dhoni criticised Shikhar Dhawan for not playing according to the need of the situation. Dhoni said, Shikhar should batted for a few more overs. Dhoni also said that India’s lower-order is not capable of making big contribution in these conditions and they need to work hard on their batting.

We got off to a very good start. Shikhar’s dismissal to some extent was really on the softer side because that was the time when he could have milked the Australian bowling line-up. He was scoring quite freely and with an open field, he should have just batted for a few more overs. He was scoring freely so he didn’t really need to play a big shot. Overall, there is pressure when you are chasing 320 run. We have seen in cricket, pressure makes you do certain things that you don’t really want to do. Naah! There was too many (when told that he left it too late in the chase). The reason being, if you lose quite a few wickets and if you are supposed to chase over 6 runs an over and also the fact that our lower-order, I don’t think they can contribute as much in these conditions. So it makes it further difficult. ‘But overall, I think it’s a good exposure for them. Maybe next time when you are playing in other conditions, they’ll know how to bat in these conditions and they’ll do much better. So our lower-order really needs to work slightly hard on their batting, because most of the good teams, they bat quite deep and we have seen, especially in the knockout stages, you need to bat deep.

Asked about his future, Dhoni said he will take a call close to next year’s during the T20 World Cup.

I am not sure about it. I am 33, I’m still running, I’m still fit. I will have a year’s time. Maybe close to next year during the T20 World Cup will be the time when I will decide whether I can continue till the 2019 World Cup or not.

Dhoni praised Ajinkya Rahane and said he is a very improved played and his batting is a big positive for India. Dhoni also thanked all the Indian fans for their massive support throughout the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015.

I think Ajinkya Rahane is one. Right through the Test series and ODI series, he’s someone who’s improved his game a lot. Also if you see the batting line-up, it seems like these are the players that will continue taking Indian cricket forward. I would like to thank the fans over here, the Australian and the Indian cricket team fans. At the end of the day, when you play cricket, you want people to come to the stadium and watch the game. We have been here for over four months. Thanks to the Aussie fans and the Indian fans, who were travelling all over from India, England and all the different places. It’s a bit disappointing for them, but at the same time when you play a sport only one team can win.’

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