Ranchi:Toast of the nation when he returned with the title two years back, life came full cycle for Mahendra Singh Dhoni on Monday with irate fans burning his effigy in his home town after India failed to defend the title in the Twenty20 World Cup in England.
Dhoni's apology to the nation after the heart-breaking three-run defeat against England could not placate the agitated mob, which held the Indian captain responsible for failing to defend the title they had won in 2007.
"Dhoni should take responsibility for the loss. India could have done well had he avoided unnecessary controversy surrounding Veeru (Virender Sehwag) in the middle of World Cup, which affected the concentration of the team members," claimed one of the indignant fans after burning Dhoni's effigy here.
Former cricketers, however, sided with Dhoni and admonished the fans for their 'fickle nature'.
"The fans should realise that it was an edge-of-the-seat finish and India lost with a narrow three-run margin. Such things do happen in cricket. Fans should control their emotions," former Bihar Ranji Trophy captain Adil Hussein said.
"Fans should also bear in the mind that no team can have 100 percent success. It is indeed sad that India exited from the contention, but they can come back strongly (in the next tournament)," said Hussein, under whom Dhoni played in the Sheesh Mahal tournament in the 1990s.
Condemning the effigy burning, another former Bihar Ranji player Pradeep Khanna said "What if Ravindra Jadeja clicked in the match ? People would have called it Dhoni's masterstroke."
Former left-arm spinner Avinash Kumar, who had taken 326 first class wickets in his 16-year career, however, criticised Dhoni for "concentrating more on advertisements than cricket."
"Effigy burning is unfortunate. It should not happen. But of late Dhoni is batting as if he was trying to retain his place in the playing XI," Kumar said.