India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni feels that losing wickets off the second new ball including a poor umpiring decision, proved to be a decisive factor, as the visitors lost by 40 runs against New Zealand in the first cricket Test here on Sunday.
India lost Ajinkya Rahane and Rohit Sharma off the second new ball, on either side of the tea-break that became costly in the final outcome of the match. Rahane was adjudged leg-before of Trent Boult despite a big inside edge.
"I am having mixed emotions about this Test match. Close to the 85th over, we lost a few wickets at that point and we had a tough decision (Rahane) at the same time which meant we were short of 30-35 runs and that was the crucial phase," Dhoni said at the post-match press conference.
Under Dhoni, India now have lost 10 out of their last 11 overseas Test matches but the skipper said that one close Test match like this serves as an experience for three to four normal Test matches. "Tight games like these give you the experience of three-four Test matches. You learn about the need to break the target down session by session. Hopefully, there will be plenty of players in our dressing room who must have learned a lot out of it," the skipper said.
Dhoni lamented that throughout this tour, there have been occasions when the team has been in good positions but couldn't convert them into winning ones. "We have been in good positions this series, in the ODIs also, but we have not been able to capitalise on them. Maybe we are still learning and in the second Test we will capitalise if we get into similar situations." Asked about Virat Kohli's dismissal due to a poor stroke having gor set, Dhoni defended his deputy.
"We all know the importance of his (Kohli) wicket. It was not only his dismissal, because we also lost wickets after the 80th over as well. "The second new ball moved for may be five or six overs. If we would have not given our wickets, we would have got those remaining 40 runs. Also, we had a bad umpiring decision at the same time. So there were quite a few things that did not go our way," Dhoni came to Kohli's defence.