Dhoni and boys back: Questions await them

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='http://www.ndtv.com/convergence/images/thumbnail/ver1/i/indiagrid_wt.jpg' class='caption'> Team India is back home from the Caribbean misadventure and Skipper MS Dhoni and his boys have to answer some tough questions.

Updated: May 14, 2010 11:50 IST
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Team India is back home from the Caribbean misadventure and Skipper MS Dhoni and his boys have to answer some tough questions. Not least, those asked by an angry coach on fitness and commitment and the one on every Indian mind - did IPL parties take a toll?

The 28-hour flight back to India from the West Indies would undoubtedly have seemed longer after the team's disappointing performance at the T20 World Cup. The team would also be acutely aware that the next few days will be spent facing a barrage of questions where ever they go.

On Thursday, the Team India coach, Gary Kirsten, minced no words in slamming his boys for poor fitness and poor commitment. He pointed out that even he was fitter than some of the players like Yuvraj Singh and Rohit Sharma, and has given the players one month to shape up.Read: Am fitter than some players: Kirsten

Kirsten also said that the team was content to be number 1 in Tests and number 2 in ODIs but had not shown enough commitment to the World T20.

India, who had won the inaugural World T20 tournament in 2007, failed to win either of its three Super Eight matches and went out with a whimper in this year's tournament.Read: Indian women lose in semis

After the pathetic Indian performance, Kirsten held one-on-one meetings with senior players Yuvraj Singh, Rohit Sharma, Gautam Gambhir, Harbhajan Singh, Zaheer Khan, Ashish Nehra and captain Dhoni.Read & Watch: Players must respect their bodies, says Dhoni

He then met the rest of the team together and demanded better fitness from the players in one month.

The South African also said the players are adamant about their right to party saying they want the freedom.

Kirsten, who has been coaching Team India since 2008, will submit a report to the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on the West Indies washout.

The big question though is the timing of Kirsten's report. If fielding is one indication of poor fitness then India has been struggling in this department for a couple of years now.

Yuvraj's fitness has been under fire for a while and his run of poor scores has not helped. Yuvi has no half-century in 14 IPL games and 5 T20 games. Understandably, he bats lower down the order but it's been evident that he's been totally out of sorts.

Yet it wasn't just Yuvraj but almost everyone who had problems at the World T20, especially with the short ball.

Sachin Tendulkar, who fully backed his teammates on Thursday, handed them a simple tip to check their susceptibility to bouncers and short-pitched deliveries. Just practice more, he said.Read: Tendulkar backs Team India

The beleaguered team, under fire from all quarters, found full support from Sachin. He said the players knew their responsibilities well and needed to be focused on cricket. He also asked fans to support the players, as that would help them start afresh. Team India, said Sachin, was still number 1.

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