What went wrong for Dhoni's men in T20 WC?

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='http://www.ndtv.com/convergence/images/thumbnail/ver1/i/icc-t20wc.jpg' class='caption'> With defending champions India out of the title race, skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni would ponder if his side did a few things wrong in the ICC World Twenty2

Updated: June 16, 2009 08:35 IST
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With defending champions India out of the title race, skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni would ponder if his side did a few things wrong in the ICC World Twenty20.

India's inept handling of short-pitched deliveries perhaps is the stand-out cause.

Matches at home, the below-par attack of New Zealand and fine performances on the worn-out pitches of South Africa during the Indian Premier League (IPL) camouflaged the young Indian batsmen weaknesses against quality pace attack of West Indies and England, who were prepared to dig it short.

Discuss: What went wrong for Team India in World T20?

India's fielding was another issue. On the face of it, Rohit Sharma, Yuvraj Singh, Suresh Raina, Ravinder Jadeja and Gautam Gambhir are a decent bunch, but they are not consistently good enough as the team hardly practices.

That Team India shuns practice is not entirely their fault too. The Indian Cricket Board (BCCI) hardly gives them a respite from travelling or playing cricket.

After the long, hectic New Zealand tour, the Indian cricketers immediately left for South Africa within 96 hours to play in the one-and-a-half-month long IPL. And no sooner they finished with the IPL, they headed straight for the World Twenty20.

There was hardly any time to plan and look for areas of improvement. Dhoni's complaint at the end of it that most of his free time was taken up by press conferences, captains' meeting, technical committee attendances show how pressurised this bunch of cricketers are for quality time.

Individually, captain Dhoni's admission that he can't hit sixes as of yore is welcomed, but his assertion that he is working on it isn't true as the team hardly practices. The jibe at media for making an issue out of the team's absence from practice sessions is misguided.

Interestingly, the Indian team rocks with talent but they are not finished product yet. Suresh Rainas and Rohit Sharmas have a fair distance to go and it was ill-advised to thrust them with so much of responsibility of opening the batting or come at the crucial number three position.

If Raina was to be preferred at number three spot in the critical Super Eight encounters, wasn't it best advised to give him some dry run at that position in league games as well. Indians shifted and shunted, tried and discarded and the team never really settled down.

India also has a problem of bowling at the slog overs. With Zaheer Khan just about returning from injury and Ishant Sharma plainly exhausted, the team could have done well by going for relatively fresh faces in R P Singh and Praveen Kumar.

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