India lost due to Rohit's promotion: Crowe

Martin Crowe feels MS Dhoni's decision to let Rohit Sharma bat at the No. 4 position in the final ODI put paid to India's chances of a clean sweep.

updated: March 16, 2009 18:26 IST
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New Delhi:

Former New Zealand skipper Martin Crowe feels Mahendra Singh Dhoni's decision to let out-of-form Rohit Sharma bat at the number four position in the fifth and final one-dayer against the Kiwis put paid to India's chances of a clean sweep.

Crowe feels the visitors became complacent after already pocketing the series 3-0 which allowed the Kiwis to showcase their true potential.

"New Zealand turned up with their true Kiwi grit, India turned up complacent. If they really wanted to win this game and make it 4-0 then Indian skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni should have come in at No 4.

"As soon as Rohit Sharma walked out to bat, you sensed that New Zealand skipper Daniel Vettori saw an opportunity with the young and inexperienced underperforming youngster. He was under pressure and Vettori pounced on it," Crowe wrote in his column for a cricket website.

Rohit, who was drafted in the playing eleven in place of Sachin Tendulkar, came in at a time when opener Virender Sehwag was going great guns but Crowe pointed out that the Mumbaikar frustrated the Delhi dasher by not rotating the strike which ultimately led to Sehwag's downfall.

"Ten balls he faced in a row and denied Virender Sehwag. As soon as Sehwag got the strike, he gave his wicket away. From there India just looked to be all at sea. While Rohit Sharma tried very hard, he has got technically some very serious flaws with his head position. And he does not look to be really good enough to be at this level," he wrote.

"As it showed with his running between the wickets and just generally while Rohit Sharma was at the crease India were always going to struggle.

"And I felt that Dhoni by promoting Rohit was just giving the youngster a chance, but its cost him the game. Not that it is anything drastic because it was a dead rubber. But that's the true summary of the match, it was lost with Rohit's promotion," he added.

Crowe also said that the victory will act as a confidence booster for New Zealand ahead of the three-Test series starting from Wednesday.

"This win will lift not just the Black Caps, but the whole series. Its going to mean Black Caps can go to the first Test feeling better about themselves and that they did fight. They can feel now that they can match Indians in certain conditions," he feels.