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'India lacked self-confidence'

Sanjay Manjrekar analyses India's disappointing campaign (07:02)

May 11, 2010

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Sri Lanka v India, Group F, World T20, Super Eights, St Lucia

'India lacked self-confidence'

May 11, 2010

Ashish Nehra conceded 17 runs in the final over, Sri Lanka v India, Group F, World Twenty20, St Lucia, May 11, 2010
Manjrekar: "The team has taken a bit of a beating as far as the confidence is concerned" © AFP

Akhila Ranganna: Hello and welcome to Cricinfo Talk. Joining me is Sanjay Manjrekar to look back at India's campaign in the ICC World Twenty20 that has just come to an end.

An extremely disappointing campaign - bar the win over South Africa- for India comes to an end; it's not just that they have been eliminated, but the manner of defeats is what will rankle. And as MS Dhoni said it was India's biggest strength-the batting - that was most under the scanner…

Sanjay Manjrekar Yes. Historically India's bowling has been weak and coming into this tournament our bowling attack looked weak and the batting was going to be our strength. But towards the final stages of the Sri Lankan game there were a few other facets of the Indian team that seemed a little below average. Obviously you had a nightmare of a week with the batting at the Kensington Oval but their running between the wickets was exposed in St Lucia, as well as well and their bowling in the death and also their fielding inside the circle while saving the singles. So towards the end I thought India looked a pretty ordinary team and if they are honest with themselves, then they would realise that this team, given the way it was playing, didn't deserve to be in the last four.

AR: Looking at this game, it was expected that the less-quicker pitches in St Lucia would suit the Indian batsmen more as compared to Barbados, but after the first 10 overs, they really struggled for momentum; in the back 10 they scored just 73 runs…

SM: This pitch was obviously more suitable for India's batsmen but the problem was the confidence. We rely a lot on self-confidence and we are temperamental people and coming into this game, there were quite a few people struggling with self-confidence, struggling with believing they can do it in this game. Gautam Gambhir is going through bit of a rough patch, Dinesh Karthik was coming in, in place of Murali Vijay; MS Dhoni didn't get quite enough batting in this tournament, Yuvraj Singh has been slightly off-colour and Yusuf Pathan has not really exploded as often as one would like at the international level. So even when you get a situation where things are in your favour your confidence as a team and an individual comes into play. So even if you get conditions that are conducive, the team has taken a bit of a beating as far as the confidence is concerned. It's the way they lost.

AR: India's team selection has been under the scanner - going for the extra batsman in Barbados; going spin-heavy on the faster tracks…strategically do you think they got their approach wrong?

SM: I am reluctant to criticise team selection. Dhoni has this kind of an approach and this has been one of the secrets of his successes. There seems to be a cricketing logic to having spinners even at the Kensington Oval. India doesn't have great fast-bowling reserves; Vinay Kumar was in the squad and if we had people like Dirk Nannes, Shaun Tait and Mitchell Johnson, Dhoni would have gone with three seamers. He is looking at what he has got in the team and then looking at the opposition. He has discovered his Indian spinners are able to make more of an impression on the opposition than the seamers. That is perhaps why he went with a spin-heavy attack on the bouncy pitches and I will not be too critical of the team selection.

The problem was with the execution when the composition was made. It was really about how well they played rather than who played.

AR: The continuing problems against the short ball will be a worry...its one thing struggling against the pace of Tait, Nannes and Johnson, but the problems persisted against the Darren Sammy and Dwayne Bravo who are not that quick as compared to the Aussie trio. They have still not been able to fix a problem that les to their exit last year in England…

SM: This is an area where Gary Kirsten really needs to be taking the initiative. He needs the support from the BCCI. To be fair to the Indian batsmen the Kensington Oval had extra bounce; it was a bit like Perth. But then if you are looking to become the best team in the world you cannot be embarrassed on these surfaces. It is up to Kirsten to take charge of the boys who have shown poor technique against the fast, rising deliveries and the BCCI through the NCA should lend a helping hand because these flaws have to be ironed out. India play Zimbabwe and Sri Lanka soon and these weaknesses will not surface in those conditions. But they have to be smarter and know that these flaws will have to be permanently ironed out and the only way that can happen is growing back to the drawing board and the basics. I think the batsmen should spend more time at the NCA rather than playing first-class or club level games. They should purely look to find their own way of tackling the short deliveries better.

AR: India failed to get all three departments of the game going together - do you think this was a tired team coming into the tournament? It appeared they were lacking in intensity; in this game against Sri Lanka they seemed to have lost the fight well before they lost the game...

SM: It is only natural for people to say that the IPL tired the Indian players and once again after an IPL season India hasn't played well in an IPL tournament. The two critical games that India lost against Australia and West Indies were purely because the top-order batsmen couldn't cop with the short deliveries. That cannot be attributed to the IPL. It is a technical weakness they have. The IPL could have been a contributing factor but I think this performance has to do with the basics of some of the top-order batsmen. Had those two matches been played at St Lucia after the South African win then things would have been different. I would not hold the IPL as responsible as some of the technical frailties of the top-order batsmen have remained unaddressed.

Posted by IPL_is_Joke on (May 13, 2010, 14:11 GMT)

There is no words to describe disastrous Team India's losses in T20 WC. THE SINGLE REASON FOR THEIR PATHETIC OUSTER IS STUPID, RUBBISH, NON-SENSE IPL WHICH IS A COMMERCIAL TOURNAMENT SELLING 6s AND 4s. This Team India completely lacks Motivation, Inspiration, Self-Belief, Hunger, Fitness needed at International Level. IPL has taken betting to highest level. Team India and BCCI is completely focussed on IPL. Because of IPL, Team India is losing skill, inspiration, motivation and fitness to play Test Cricket. These curators, coaches and BCCI officials are working for IPL growth rather than Cricket growth. Until IPL is thrashed, Team India is not going to perform well in other tournaments. IPL is completely meaningless and obsolete Tournament. Test, ODI & T20 Cricket is great to watch between Countries unlike IPL Teams which look like clubs. Test Cricket is ultimate to watch on sportive pitches. But IPL is making these pitches Lifeless.

Posted by radnus4u on (May 13, 2010, 13:03 GMT)

We should not judge younger players skills of handling short pitch stuff in T20. Younger Players dont have the shots to handle short stuff. If its Leaving the delivery our boys can handle it.I dont think senior players in the past except Sachin or Dravid had the shots to hit a boundary or six. Our public should be realistic enough about team expectations.

Posted by   on (May 13, 2010, 7:44 GMT)

Irfan Pathan and Robin Uthappa were very much needed in this team and it would been better to position these two against batting attacks like West Indies. In addition Irfan could easily be used as a pace bowler.

Posted by AussieonTop on (May 13, 2010, 3:21 GMT)

The trouble with Indian cricket is not a lack of self belief but a lack of work ethic. For too long the Indian Cricket team has been iodolised and adored by forgiving fans. Problems in their game are systemic. If you cant field or face a bouncer then the structures behind Indian cricket are not in place. The main reason why Indian Cricket will never change is politics and money. Until a time arises when these barriers are removed then real meaningful changes will never occur. And that is why India will never be a "true number 1" in world cricket.

Posted by Rooboy on (May 13, 2010, 1:29 GMT)

@randikaayya, while I tend to agree with your point about 'ultra-biased commentary', I actually think bhogle has been very balanced with his commentary this tournament. He has even been extremely complimentary towards Australia in several games, and I haven't heard a single petty cheap shot. Of course, all this makes me wonder where the real bhogle has gone ...

Posted by salmankhan1234 on (May 13, 2010, 0:08 GMT)

India biggest strenght is batting, only in 50/50, any player can hit in the last 5 overs in T20. atleast 4 specialist bowler you need in order to stop runs and a wkt taker, and 6 batsman will do in T20, a good batsman always have pressure to expect to hit a ball from the very first ball as compare to a bowler who has no pressure to hit on a first ball coz that's not his job. I think selector should not pick a player from IPL experience doesn't matter how they perform in IPL. IPL doesn't equal International cricket period. selectors forgot the basics of cricket when it comes to a T20 international.

Posted by   on (May 12, 2010, 21:22 GMT)

i think this indian team is more interested in playing ipl instead of playing for their country.look at dhoni ,how casual and relaxed he was after losing crucial matches in the tournament insted of that pumped up behavior when he was playing for csk that tells u everything... .even look at the statisticks of the icc events after the advent of ipl.INDIA NEVER QUALIFIED FOR A SEMI FINAL IN EITHER OF THE TWO T20 WORLDCUPS AND THE CHAMPIONS TROPHY IN SOUTH AFRICA..on the contrary if u look at the stats of PAKISTAN,who were expelled out the last 2 seasons of the ipl, won the t20 worldcup back in england , played the semis of the champions trophy in south africa and are in the semis of the current icc world t20...what a pity...poor indians forgot that money cant do every thing.. there is no international cricket going on in pakistan.... still the mighty pakistanis are delivering on foriegn soils in alien conditions and on BOUNCY PITHES.. INDIA is "ALL SHOW NO GO" and that is the bottomline

Posted by noness on (May 12, 2010, 20:17 GMT)

IPL added something to the indian cricket, whose one of the important goals was to find and propagate talent; I think it has been only a small achievement; Bottom line is that the owners of the teams (Mallyas,Ambanis, etc) should spend a small fraction of their spectacular earnings in contributing to the game at grass roots levels; Why cant we have atleast 2 pace bowlers for a billion fans; Once upon a time resources was a problem; Given the private resources now, these owners should serioully think about developing some genuine battery of pace bowlers; IF a 100-500 kids are groomed in some major cities, no reason why we should not have a battery of pace bowlers. It is a shame if these owners cannot think of this, and only think about all the money they make in the only major entertainment sport of the Indian fans..... I hope they read this comment.. and genuinely work on this..

Posted by harikeshan on (May 12, 2010, 17:59 GMT)

You win a match by taking 11 wickets and the fielding to back the same. No matter what fitness is a prime concern for India and has always been and when it comes to beating sides like Australia and South Africa on Hard Bouncy pitches our batsmen have clearly been exposed. Indian selectors hoped that by selecting a squad based on past performances would do the job rather than look @ players who were in form,players like Ohja, Kohli, Suman, Rayudu, and Uttappa, would have given them that spark required rather than carrying passengers like Zaheer, Yuvraj, Jadeja and Nehra. Rather than winning games against sides like Bangladesh and Sri Lanka on periodic basis to become number one, lets look at beating sides like SA and Aus on their turf, where conditions favour the home team. Sri Lanka on the other hand full marks to them not only did they deflate India by ensuring the scored the 143 but drove the nail into the coffin by winning the match.

Posted by randikaayya on (May 12, 2010, 17:39 GMT)

Gavaskar and Bhogle should accept much blame as any of the players. Their ultra-biased commentary has instilled in the Indian players a false sense of security and that is down playing there performance. Commentators should start seeing the true picture instead of bloating the persona of Indian players without basis.

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