Former West Indian fast bowler Michael Holding feels India missed Mahendra Singh Dhoni during their run chase as they slipped to a 66-run loss to Australia in Sydney on Friday.

Aaron Finch, David Warner and Steve Smith came to the party for Australia to help them post a massive total of 374 in their first innings.

With India up against it, openers Shikhar Dhawan and Mayank Agarwal got them off to a flying start but the visitors lost their way, losing wickets at regular intervals.

A solid partnership between Dhawan and Hardik Pandya kept India alive but the duo couldn’t get India over the line as the lower order crumbled under pressure.

Holding felt India missed the composure that Dhoni brought to run chases over the years.

“It was always going to be difficult for India to chase that down. One thing India will struggle with is the loss of Mahendra Singh Dhoni,” Holding said in a Youtube chat show ‘Holding Nothing Back’.

“MS Dhoni comes in to this Indian batting order halfway down and he usually takes control while chasing. India have chased so well in the past with MS Dhoni in the team,” he added.

When Pandya and Dhawan were batting it seemed like India could go all the way and make a successful chase. Holding believes India could have had a better chance of chasing if Dhoni was at the crease.

“We never see MS Dhoni panicking at any stage while India are chasing. He usually paces that chase so well because he knows his ability and he knows how to go about the chase. Whoever is batting with him, he is always talking with them and helping them,” he said.

Holding also felt without MS Dhoni, India may be a bit more hesitant to chase totals in limited-overs cricket.

“They’ve never been afraid to win the toss and insert the opposition because they know what MS Dhoni is capable of. This batting lineup that they’ve got is still very talented - we saw some talented players and fantastic strokeplay. But they still need a player like Dhoni. Not just his skills but his strength of character,” Holding said.

India play Australia in the second ODI at Sydney on Sunday and need to win the match to keep the three-match series alive.

Watch Michael Holding’s full interview below: