Dhoni struck an unbeaten 87 off 70 balls in the home team’s 126-run victory in the first match of the five-game contest in Hyderabad on Friday.
England have been told by captain Alastair Cook that they must improve ahead of today’s second game in Delhi.
“We need to find a way of being better than him [Dhoni],” said Dernbach.
Chasing 301 to win, England appeared to be fairly well set at 111-2 before the middle order collapsed to 174 all out – and Dernbach is clear about the danger posed by the Indian skipper.
“He’s a fantastic player,” said the 25-year-old. “As a bowling unit, we just need to find a way of getting him out and restricting him.
“That’s the exciting bit of the game, and we just need to find a way of containing the runs and finding ways to get wickets.