15 June : Indian cricket Captain MS Dhoni apologised to the nation for his champion team’s early ouster from the T20 World Cup and admitted sending Ravindra Jadeja ahead of Yuvraj Singh in their Super 8 match against England was a mistake.
"We are more disappointed (than you) and we respect the emotions of our fans and the country. We gave our best and we say that with an open heart, we have nothing to hide. But the next Twenty20 world cup is coming again in nine months and we would have an opportunity of proving ourselves," said a dejected Dhoni after India’s heart-breaking three-run loss at Lord’s Sunday night.
Dhoni sent Jadeja ahead of Yuvraj and himself but the young all-rounder consumed 35 balls for his 25 in the middle overs to put pressure on his batting partners which ultimately led to India losing the match by three runs to crash out of the tournament.
"Sometimes you don’t know what would happen. We thought Jadeja could stabilise the innings as well as go after the bowling. He did try but somehow he always found the fielders. It was unfortunate it didn’t work for us. We needed somebody to play percentage cricket at that stage." Dhoni, however, defended his decision to include Jadeja in the playing eleven in place of Pragyan Ojha as well as his opting to field after winning the toss."We were looking at a combination in which our batting could be lengthened. We need lower order bats to contribute. Ojha may be a better bowler but Jadeja is an excellent fielder and both bat and bowl well. It also encourages us to include an extra fast bowler," he said.
"As for fielding first, we realised that under lights the wicket became better for batting."The Indian captain held his batting colleagues responsible for the team’s loss and said there cannot be any excuse for their failure to chase down a modest target of 154."We failed in batting. If the opposition scores 153 and you cannot achieve that on a track like this, I don’t think there can be any excuse. You just cannot explain that," Dhoni curtly said.
"We lost simply because we did not bat well. I’m rather happy with the performance of the bowlers," he added.Dhoni was candid enough to admit that England bowlers had bounced India out of the match sending down short-pitch stuff quite consistently.
"They started really well. They looked aggressive and used the bouncers really well. All of a sudden our batsmen could not change their game plan."They used short deliveries very well (bouncers and slow bouncers). That really did the job for them," he said.
Dhoni however, had words of praise for his bowlers for fine-tuning their tactics in Twenty20 format."The bowlers have adapted very well to this format. They are now bowling a lot of short balls as well as slower bouncers. Sometimes against quality bowlers it becomes difficult to adapt," said Dhoni.On his own form, Dhoni admitted big hitting has deserted him for some time and he is working hard to get big shots boom off his bat again.
"I am not consistently hitting sixes, I admit it and am working hard at it. But this game is just not about hitting sixes. But hopefully I would be back."
He denied that playing relentless cricket over the last six months had impacted on team performance.
"It’s demanding but I wouldn’t offer it as excuse. I wouldn’t blame IPL. But I don’t think anybody say that my team or I didn’t give our 100 per cent in matches. If they say, that would spoil the party for me. Performing or not performing is a different issue. I’m not worried about it."
Dhoni said he would not term the Super Eight loss the worst defeat of his career and his side’s knocking out the tournament would have an adverse impact on the game in the India.
"I don’t think it would have any impact on India. We lost in the 2007 World Cup and it was the worst defeat for me. But we were back after a couple of series," Dhoni said.
"A loss such as this encourages the team to do well and improve. I take it as a good sign. It tells us that we need to be consistent. We have now lost three games in a row at Lord’s and that hurt us."
He also didn’t think that his row with the media on Virender Sehwag’s injury controversy disturbed the dressing room atmosphere.
"We knew there was nothing in it. So it never bothered us or affected the dressing room atmosphere. It’s a test of character for us now to bounce back.
"It’s not the end of road for us. We will prove a few points to West Indies. We also want to gain a consolation win over South Africa in the final game."
By : News Team