Team missing a senior spinner: Dhoni

India captain MS Dhoni defended Piyush Chawla but said his side needed a senior spinner after they failed to defend their score of 308 against Pakistan.

updated: July 05, 2008 15:42 IST
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Clearly unhappy as his bowlers failed to defend a 300-plus total against Pakistan, India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni said the side was missing an experienced spinner in the Asia Cup.

With off-spinner Harbhajan Singh serving a five-ODI ban for slapping S Sreesanth during the Indian Premier League, Piyush Chawla has been spearheading the Indian spin attack but with little success.

Talking after the team's eight-wicket defeat against Pakistan, Dhoni said though Chawla was trying his best, things could have been vastly different if he had an experienced spinner in the ranks.

"On flat tracks like this one, scores like 300 or 310 is just not enough if you don't have an experienced spinner. There is not much help from the pitch for the spinners and it's rather easier for the batsman to go after the spinner than rotate the strike. There you need experienced spinner," Dhoni said.

On Chawla, Dhoni said, "I'm happy with his performance. Probably he did have a bad game or two, like the (Kitply Cup) final in Bangladesh. But he is learning from his mistakes and I'm happy with his effort."

The Indian skipper also rued losing too many wickets in the middle overs and said this was an issue the team need to address.

"We got a good start but lost wickets at regular intervals. If we had more wickets in hand, we could have gone for the slog in the 38th over itself," he lamented.