Dhoni calls for all-round improvement


MS Dhoni said India must aim higher with the bat as well as show a vast improvement with the ball despite passing 300 for the second successive one-day international as they went 2-0 down to Australia.

Rohit Sharma followed up his 171 not out at the WACA on Tuesday by making 124 at the Gabba, while Ajinkya Rahane (89) and Virat Kohli (59) scored half-centuries in India's total of 308-8.

The tourists were unable to defend that total, though, and slumped to a seven-wicket defeat in Brisbane, with George Bailey (76 not out) in the runs again after Aaron Finch (71) and Shaun Marsh (71) put on an opening stand of 145.

Australia broke the record for the highest successful run chase at the Gabba and Dhoni was left to reflect on another frustrating day in which recalled Ishant Sharma (1-60) bowled eight wides as India gave away 19 extras.

"In both the games we have given a fair amount of extras," said the wicketkeeper-batsman. "That takes that number of runs off the total. On good wickets it does matter.

"As far as Ishant is concerned, I think the breeze was flowing in circular motions. I felt that made it slightly difficult for him. I feel even if we cut down the extras we will have to score more runs.

"There are two options: either put pressure on [our] batsmen and score 330 or chase down the score, give them the batting first.

"These are the only two options we have got. We will have a look and decide what suits us the best."

Dhoni gave his backing to Shikhar Dhawan, who has now made only 19 runs in his last three innings after the opening batsman was dismissed for only six.

"Shikhar is someone who loves to play his shots. If somebody plays shots from the very start, there will be periods when he won't score runs." said Dhoni.

"You can say it was a rash shot, but that's the time you are supposed to back your stroke-players."

Australia can wrap up the five-match series with a victory at the MCG on Sunday.