Photo Credit: AP Photos.
Southampton: India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni on Thursday blamed his batsmen for the "soft dismissals" which saw them suffer an embarrassing 266-run defeat in the third cricket Test and said they would need to discuss their four-bowler strategy ahead of the fourth rubber.
Asked about the decision to go with four bowlers in the third Test, Dhoni said: "The reason for using four bowlers is the we never used the fifth. We just used him for 10 and 8 overs. With Shikhar and Vijay and Rohit around we thought we could do it.
"But it's the bowling we need to improve and hit the top of off stump. We will have to think about the four-bowler strategy. We can say the extra batsman didn't score, but then again the extra bowler didn't pick up wickets. So we have to discuss a lot and decide on the basis of the pitch."
Part-time off-spinner Moeen Ali's six-wicket haul saw India bundle out for 178 in the second innings to earn a huge win for England and draw level in the five-test series and Dhoni said his batsmen should have been more positive.
"I don't think we played good cricket. We played the fast bowlers well. Moeen (Ali) bowled well, but we also allowed him to bowl well," said Dhoni after India lost the third Test by a huge 266 runs here on Thursday.
"He bowled good lines and one ball will turn, there is some wear on the wicket and we should have been more positive."
"There were quite a few soft dismissals during the phase where Jinx (Ajinkya Rahane) got out and a couple of other wickets that fell. The last session yesterday, we lost too many wickets. We could have looked at the Test today a different way without that," he added.
Asked about debutant fast bowler Pankaj Singh, Dhoni said: "Pankaj bowled really well, tall guy bowled good lengths. In this pitch, he bowled the right length. He could have got three wickets but it just didn't go his way. Shami and Bhuvi bowled well too.
"When it comes to talent, we are good. In the mental approach, we have to play out shots and back ourselves because cricket is about runs and wickets," Dhoni added.
England skipper Alastair Cook said he was happy that they dominated all the sessions in the third Test. "Happy is the word, not relieved. We pretty much won every single session and that credit to the guys," Cook said after the match.
"It's a great win, we wanted to get on that wicket first and to get 570 is a great start. We bowled well and batted quickly and knocked em over again," he added.
Troubled by poor form, Cook finally got his bearing right in the Third Test as he scored 95 and 70 not out in the first and second innings respectively and the 29-year-old said he had to work really hard on his batting.
"I thought my game was heading in the right direction even with 10s and 20s. It was frustrating not to get the hundred, but I'd take what I got," he said.
"Getting back into the ball is vital, I'm pretty good with the short ball. I nick outside off and I had to take care of that. I had to work incredibly hard."
Asked about the contribution of his teammates, especially all-rounder Moeen Ali and wicketkeeper Jos Butler, Cook said: "The team from 1 to 11 have been fantastic. Moeen's bowling has come on leaps and bounds, credit to him. When you're bowing behind Ajmal at Worcester and he's been bowling a lot.
Responding really well and on a spinning wicket to get a six-for, can't really ask for more. "Buttler's been brilliant with his quick runs and his keeping has been great too. Leader of the attack, Anderson. Got a couple of wickets to set us off and settle nerves."
Cook also thanked the spectators for turning up for the third Test. "It is a fantastic crowd, it was a touch Test (scheduling wise), walking out on Sunday after lunch, the ovation was great.
"It's been a fantastic week and thank you Southampton." England pacer James Anderson, who marked his birthday with a five-wicket haul yesterday, said: "Lovely, it was a good day yesterday, We just wanted to finish them off early and get out there and bat again.
"I don't think we lost a session in the game. Fantastic performance through the five days." The 32-year-old from Lancashire, who took five wickets in the first session before scalping two more in India's second essay, said it was the batsmen who set the game for them after scoring 569 in the first innings.
"570 is a huge score. It makes a huge difference for the bowlers. It was quite easy for us after that. Gary (Ballance) and Bell batted brilliantly, and set the game for us. We bowled brilliantly and got this win," said Anderson, who was adjudged the Man of the Match.
"We definitely enjoyed it as well, we've obviously performed well. It was slightly different atmosphere in the field, me and Broady set the tone with the new ball and then we threw ourselves around in the field.
"The ball swung both innings and that made my job easier because that's what I'm good at and if it keeps swinging hopefully I can continue."
Anderson is facing an ICC judicial commission hearing on Friday set up to investigate accusations that he pushed India's Ravindra Jadeja in the Trent Bridge pavilion during the lunch interval on the second day of the first Test.
Asked if he is confident to get a decision in his favour, Anderson said: "I'm not sure tomorrow. We will have to wait and see. But I am happy that we have done brilliantly to put that out of our minds and level the series."