Melbourne: India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni conceded they are "tentative starters" on a tour and praised the Australian bowlers after their 122-run loss in first Test at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) here on Thursday.

"Bowlers brought us back in to the game but we couldn't bat well. We were short by 50-odd runs in the first innings. The main difference was their lower order scored some runs in both the innings. If we had got them earlier, we would have had 50-60 runs less to chase," Dhoni said after the match.

India, chasing a 292-run target, were bowled out for 169 in the second innings on the fourth day of the Boxing Day Test for their eighth defeat on the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG).

India let Australia make 240 in their second innings from the overnight total of 179 for eight with veteran Michael Hussey scoring a gritty 89 on a difficult wicket.

India had let the hosts off the hook even in their first innings where they managed 333 after being reduced to 214 for six. The bowlers got India back into the match by delivering in both the innings but the fame batting line-up failed to live up to the expectations.

Dhoni said he was not worried by the failure of an experienced line-up and expressed confidence on bouncing back in the second Test in Sydney starting January 3.

"We are known to be tentative starters, I think in the next game we will be better."

The skipper also praised the Australian bowlers for their match-winning effort.

"You have to give credit to the Australia bowlers for the way they bowled. They kept a nagging line and bowled in the right areas," he added.

(Agencies)