Dhoni lashes out at batsmen for aborted title defence

Updated: 15 June 2009 08:03 IST

A dejected India captain MS Dhoni held his batting colleagues responsible for the team's aborted title defence in the World Twenty20.

Dhoni lashes out at batsmen for aborted title defence

London:

A dejected India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni on Sunday held his batting colleagues responsible for the team's aborted title defence in the World Twenty20 and said there cannot be any excuse for their failure to chase down a modest victory target against England.

Chasing 154 against the hosts in the do-or-die Super Eight match, India eventually halted at 150 for five to crash out of title defence and Dhoni had no doubt that the batsmen let the team down.

"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, however, 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.

On whether Yuvraj Singh should have batted up the order, Dhoni said,"He could have. But we thought (Ravindra) Jadeja will go in and stabilise the innings. Once me or Yuvi is out there, we can achieve a run rate like nine or 10 an over, since we have Yusuf Pathan and Harbhajan Singh down the order.

"I think more than that, we lost wickets at crucial time. First Jadeja got out and then unfortunately Yuvraj too got out. Those timings were crucial," he added.

Asked if the team missed the injured Virender Sehwag since makeshift opener Rohit Sharma could not replicate his pool stage form in the Super Eights, Dhoni conceded it was difficult to replace the Delhi batsman.

"Sehwag is a kind of player you cannot really replace and we did miss him. But Rohit was doing the job for us and he scored in quite a few games. Of course with Sehwag there, the batting order looks different. We missed him because of injury and you cannot do much about that," he said.

His English counterpart Paul Collingwood, meanwhile, was elated with the win and he disclosed that jeers from some Indian fans worked as extra motivation for his side.

"A lot of English supporters but we got booed at the home of cricket by the Indian fans, which was a bit strange. So that gave us a bit of motivation," Collingwood said.

The English captain felt they should have put a bigger score on the board but was happy with the way his bowlers defended the total.

"At some stage, I thought we would get 160-170 but it was a fantastic performance. We really put India under a lot of pressure. We were hoping the wicket would have pace and it did. We got the balls in good areas," he added.

Ryan Sidebottom, who won the Man-of-the-Match award for his 2/31, was happy with show and said, "As a bowling unit, we did well but we have a big game tomorrow (against South Africa) and I hope to do as well as I did today."

Topics : Cricket Sreesanth
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