First session was the difference: Dhoni

Durban, Dec 30 : Skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni Monday blamed the batting collapse in the first session as South Africa won the second Test by 10 wickets and wrapped up the two-match series 1-0 here at the Kingsmead.

Resuming the day at 68/2 in the second innings, India had a challenging task on hand to bat throughout the day for a draw. But they lost five wickets for 86 runs in the morning session and were bundled out for 223 for a slim lead of 57 runs.

"The first session was crucial, we didn't start well, a couple of bad decisions, tough decisions, a couple of bad shots," said Dhoni.

Dhoni, however, backed his young side saying the experience will stand the players in good stead.

"Overall, only a few of the top order had played more than five Tests outside the subcontinent, great experience for them to play the toughest side."

"I'm very happy with the performance, especially of the bowlers. Without the luxury of an allrounder, they bowled to the plan that they had. They must have learnt a lot out of these two games, also that Test cricket is about all five days, you may play one bad session and that will have an imapct on the game itself," said Dhoni.

Dhoni also paid rich tribute to South Africa's legendary all-rounder Jacques Kallis for whom it was his farewell Test.

"Jacques Kallis has been a fantastic cricketer, doesn't talk much. Not just the runs he scored or the wickets he took, even the catches he took. He gave South Africa the luxury of playing an extra batsman. Youngsters will look up to him," he said.

--IANS (Posted on 30-12-2013)

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