Rift allegation hurt us: Kirsten

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='http://www.ndtv.com/convergence/images/thumbnail/ver1/d/dhoni-gary.jpg' class='caption'> Allegation of a rift between MS Dhoni and Virender Sehwag hurt the side, said India coach Gary Kirsten.

Updated: June 05, 2009 13:43 IST
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Allegation of a rift between Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Virender Sehwag hurt the side and the team's dramatic appearance in a press conference on Friday was a statement of their unity, said India coach Gary Kirsten.

Dhoni and the entire team, including a smiling Sehwag, made a dramatic entry in the pre-match press conference where the Indian captain read out a statement dismissing reports about the 'rift' and walked off without taking any question.

Kirsten, who later addressed the reporters, said the allegation hurt the side.

"When we get accused of infighting, it hurt us," the South African said on the eve of India's Twenty20 World Cup opener against Bangladesh.

Kirsten said this was for the first time that questions have been raised about the team's unity and it was necessary to make a collective presence to put through the message.

"It does not happen in this team. It just hurt a little bit. We wanted to send a message across that this team is really unified," Kirsten said.

"There were individuals who felt that something needed to be done and something needed to be said. It was a collective decision (to appear together)."

"We wanted to show the Indian people that we are together, because a certain section of the media has not projected it that way," Kirsten said.

And like Dhoni, Kirsten too felt it was an "irresponsible" act on media's part.

"From the media's side it is important that they report responsibly. If some statement has been made that there has been infighting, I think it's not true, it's irresponsible," he said.

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