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India took Australia too lightly: Amarnath

Agencies

Posted: Nov 09, 2009 at 1539 hrs IST
      

New Delhi: Former India cricketer Mohinder Amarnath on Monday criticised Mahendra Singh Dhoni's men for taking a depleted but spirited Australian side too lightly and said the hosts' overconfidence eventually cost them the ODI series.

"I think, Indian team made a mistake by taking their opponents lightly. Overconfidence was the major factor (in the defeat). We did so many mistakes on the field and our bowling was also not upto the mark in the series," Amarnath said.

Australia secured an unassailable 4-2 lead in the seven-match series after their six-wicket win in the sixth one-dayer in Guwahati yesterday, which also dashed India's hopes of toppling Ricky Ponting's side from the top of the ICC rankings. Amarnath was, however, not ready to read much into the series loss and remained hopeful that the team would shrug off the disappointment to rediscover their winning habit soon.

"This loss is certainly worrying, but I would say, there is no need to press the panic button at this moment. We have to play a lot of cricket ahead where the team can perform much better," Amarnath said.

Amarnath, who has played 69 Tests, also congratulated Sachin Tendulkar for becoming the first cricketer in the game's history to score 17,000 runs.

"Sachin is still enjoying his game and has said that he feels proud to play for India. I think, this is a great statement from a great player," Amarnath said.

The 59-year-old former cricketer also advised dashing opening batsman Virender Sehwag, who is struggling to find form in the series, to be more careful in selecting shots in the beginning of his innings.

"Viru is an extremely talented batsman, but he should be more careful in selection of his shots. Team needs him to play some more overs and he should avoid getting dismissed on loose shots," he said.

Amarnath, a member of India's 1983 World Cup winning squad, was not worried about the soaring popularity of Twenty20 cricket, but feels each country should have a large pool of players to deal with the injury problems caused by overdose of cricket.

"Now we are playing too much Twenty20 cricket. I am not saying we shouldn't play it. T20 shouldn't affect players' performance in other versions of international cricket.

Administrators should be careful while planning the fixture to save players from injury or burn out," Amarnath said.

"Instead of rotating same players, the national selectors should give chances to cricketers who are performing well in domestic circuit. We must prepare a bigger pool of players and during selection more emphasis should be placed on fielding," he added.

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