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We still need a settled bowling line-up

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Relieved he might be after a consolation win against the seemingly unstoppable Australians, but Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni today rued the fact that the ODI side lacks a settled bowling line-up.

India won the fifth ODI by six wickets courtesy an unbeaten 104 from youngster Manish Pandey but the bowlers bled runs in the series, which the visitors lost 1-4. Dhoni though still found positives from the showing.

“I think we have been competitive in the series. The goal was to win matches. The first four games, I thought were close, but we didn’t close it down well. That’s important in the ODI format. Every over matters, especially in a high- scoring game. Giving those 15-20 run overs, it becomes slightly easier for the opposition,” Dhoni said in the post-match presentation.

“The top order has been together for a long time now.

Where we have been hurt a little bit is the lower-order batting, where Manish did really well today, and also the fact that we have not had a settled bowling attack,” said Dhoni, who himself played an important 34-run cameo at the SCG with a last-over six that helped Pandey to finish off things with two balls to spare.

The Men in Blue will now have to shift focus towards the three-match Twenty20 series starting January 26 and Dhoni believes the team will have to lift its fielding to do well in the shortest format.

“We have to improve our fielding slightly. Grounds over here are quite big, and once you know the fielder is not that quick or doesn’t have a good fielder, you will put pressure on that fielder,” said the wicketkeeper-batsman.

Man of the Match Pandey took centerstage today with his 81-ball knock, which was laced with eight fours and a six and the top-order batsman was happy to bat at No.4 in place of injured Ajinkya Rahane.

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