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Gamble with Amit Mishra paid off, says MS Dhoni

India Today logo India Today 29-08-2016

First it was the technical snag and then came the rain! India's hopes of levelling the two-match T20I series against the West Indies got washed away with the downpour in Florida as the second T20I had to be called off after just two overs of play in the second innings. West Indies took home the series 1-0 as a result.

India's limited-overs skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni's return turned out to be a big disappointment as they were looking good to win the second game at Lauderhill before the heavens opened up.

After the one-run defeat in the high-scoring first game, Indian bowlers came up with a clinical display and bowled out the West Indies for 143 inside 20 overs after winning the toss. Leg-spinner Amit Mishra, who was picked ahead of Stuart Binny for this game, justified his selection and picked up 3 wickets for 24 runs in his four overs, while Ravichandran Ashwin, Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammad Shami picked up two wickets each to restrict the T20 champions to a below-par total on a batting-friendly wicket at Lauderhill.

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UNLUCKY TEAM INDIA

India were 15/0 in two overs when rain interrupted play and even though it stopped after a while, wet outfield meant that the match couldn't be resumed. The match had also started late by approximately 40 minutes due to a technical fault in the stadium.

Dealing with all these disappointments on consecutive days, Dhoni still managed to put up a brave face in the post-match presentation and praised his bowlers for bouncing back in this match after the beating they took at the hands of Evin Lewis and Johnson Charles yesterday.

"If you compare the two games, you'd wonder if we were playing on the same wicket. "I think it was quite difficult. But the way the bowlers bowled was brilliant," Dhoni said after the match.

Rohit Sharma had started off the run chase for India on the front foot scoring a six to begin the proceedings. The Men in Blue were certainly looking good to chase down the total before rain played spoilsport. Even Dhoni knew the outcome would have been different had play resumed after the break.

"I'm not saying we would have definitely won, but a good batting effort would have seen us through after 140 odd," he quipped. 

India preferred to play Mishra ahead of Binny after the latter's poor bowling performance in the first match. But that meant playing with a batsman short, a gamble which eventually paid off for Team India.

"We took a bit of risk bringing Mishra in for Stuart Binny, and it paid off well. We played one batter short, but realizing the wicket we thought we need an extra bowler. Leg-spinner is a fair option. Mishra bowled exceedingly well and he was well supported by Ashwin," Mahi concluded.

This was India's first T20I series defeat in 2016 after thumping Australia, Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe in the past.

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