I feel sorry for Dhoni, says Graeme Smith

Updated: 15 June 2009 14:36 IST

South Africa captain Graeme Smith offered his support to under-fire India skipper MS Dhoni on after the defending champions crashed out of the World T20.

I feel sorry for Dhoni, says Graeme Smith

Nottingham:

South Africa captain Graeme Smith offered his support to under-fire India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni on Monday after the defending champions crashed out of the World Twenty20.

India's three-run defeat to England at Lord's yesterday sparked an avalanche of criticism aimed at Dhoni with his tactical thinking coming under fire from the country's demanding fans.

"Mahendra is a very composed person but a few tactical decisions of theirs have come under scrutiny and that's always difficult to deal with as a leader," said Smith whose team face India in their final Super Eights match at Trent Bridge here on Tuesday.

"If you've captained for long enough, you've been through those phases of your career. As a leader, when things aren't going to plan, they will turn on you. How you handle yourself and handle those situations is a sign of the type of character you are and where you're going in your career.

"I certainly had a few moments like that but hopefully we won't be facing that in this competition. Maybe it's someone else's turn."

Smith added: "We all know India, on paper, are a supremely talented team with lots of options so it was a surprise to see them not perform to that standard in Super Eights."

South Africa have already sealed their place in the semi-finals are almost certain to play their last-four match here on Thursday as Group E winners.

"(Tuesday's match) is not important to the competition but we still want to go out and play well," said Smith.

"In terms of the levels which you are playing and in terms of your combinations it is important for our semi-final.

"It is about challenging ourselves to play at the levels we have been. The challenge for us is to maintain our level of play; it's a very difficult competition if you don't do that.

"It's important, no matter what the result, that we play at the level we are comfortable with.

"Twenty20 is all about adapting to situations, committing to your skills and being well-prepared tactically."



Topics : Cricket Sreesanth
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