Promoting Raina a mistake: Dhoni

Unhappy with a second place finish, India captain MS Dhoni says promoting Suresh Raina ahead of himself in the batting line up was a mistake.

updated: June 17, 2008 12:23 IST
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Struggling to digest the fact that India finished second best despite dominating the tri-series, captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni admitted promoting Suresh Raina ahead of him in the all-important final was a mistake.

Chasing 316, India fumbled and faltered, losing wickets at regular intervals. Dhoni sent Raina (24) at number six and though the left-hander got the start, he could not carry on.

Finally when Dhoni came to bat, he was soon running out of partners and with the run rate skyrocketing, the India captain had no option but to take risks and he was the last man out as India fell 25-run shy of Pakistan's total.

"In hindsight, promoting Raina was a mistake because I came late and was running out of partners," Dhoni rued after the match.

"That decision was a mistake but it happens in cricket and you learn from mistakes," he said.
According to Dhoni, a decent start and some lengthy partnership could have made the difference tonight.

"We did not start well and then did not have enough partnerships either. Losing too many wickets was the killer.

We got runs at a decent rate but losing wickets at regular intervals cost us the game," Dhoni rued.

His opposite number Shoaib Malik admitted the team was under pressure because of their huge defeat against India in the league match and he was relieved to have settled score.

"Any win against India, that too in the final, is always big for us. After that league match defeat, I told 'come on guys, we still stand a chance. Give 100 per cent in the final and we'll win'.

"Younis was simply brilliant tonight. I had this feeling that if he survived the first 4-5 balls, he would score big and he did just that," an elated Malik said.

Younis, adjudged Man of the Match, for his 99-ball 108, said he knew runs would come if he just stayed put in the crease.

"I took it just like any other match. It was humid and conditions were tough but I knew runs would flow if I can just hang around," he said.

Umar Gul, who took four wickets to break the back of the Indian innings, said the strategy against India's in-form openers Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir paid off today.

"Both of them were in great form and the plan was to bowl close to their body. I'm happy the plan clicked," he said.