India v South Africa, Super Eights, World Twenty20, Colombo

India and South Africa can only blame themselves

If they allow themselves to reflect on the cruelty of the format, both South Africa and India would be distracting themselves from reality: they were inconsistent, scratchy, confused, and poorly led

Sambit Bal in Colombo

October 2, 2012

Comments: 213 | Text size: A | A

MS Dhoni leads his side from the field having won the game but been knocked out, India v South Africa, Super Eights, World Twenty20, Colombo, October 2, 2012
MS Dhoni has been a remarkable leader for India but he cannot escape scrutiny for some perplexing selections and tactics during this tournament © ICC/Getty
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When the circumstances of the final Super Eights match of this World Twenty20 fade from memory, a cursory look at the scorecard would point to a heart-stopping thriller. In reality an embarrassment was averted when the match stopped one run short of a tie: a Super Over would have been farcical.

Twenty20 is the ficklest form of the game because matches can turn the narrowest of channels. So fickle in fact that no pre-tournament favourite has ever won the World Twenty20. India would point to the luck of the draw and the fact that Australia's heavy defeat to Pakistan in the penultimate match left them with a near-impossible task, and South Africa would rue the nature of two of their defeats - they allowed Umar Gul, batting at No. 9, to score 32 off 17 balls to lose with two deliveries to spare, and the one-run defeat today.

That the day began with all of the four teams with a chance to make it to the semi-finals would point to the openness of the ground, but if they allow themselves to reflect on the cruelty of the format, both South Africa and India would be distracting themselves from reality: the truth is that their early flight home was well-earned. They were inconsistent, scratchy, confused, and poorly led.

It could be argued that the winning teams in Group 1 have had an easier ride than in Group 2, and that in the latter group it came down to whose bad day was the worst. But there is another way of looking at it. Both Australia and Pakistan made sure that their better days were overwhelmingly good. No one can suggest that the best two teams from the group of death didn't make it to the knock-out stage.

Australia swamped India and South Africa, and even in their worst defeat, they made sure they did enough to secure their semi-final berth. And facing elimination after a familiarly nervy defeat against India, Pakistan put together such a massive act of strangulation that it knocked South Africa out and left India clutching despondently at a mathematical possibility.

In principle, India were better-placed than Pakistan at the start of the day because they would go in to their game knowing exactly what they needed to do. But Pakistan made the task so stiff that India would have to play well above themselves to even have a sniff. India staggered to their highest total in the Super Eights, but it was at least 30 runs short.

Having maintained their impeccable record of never making it to the final of a World Cup, South Africa will leave Sri Lanka even more despondently. They arrived at the tournament with a glow and an aura. The bowling carried menace up front, they had a crafty spinner, the batting had the combination of class and muscle and depth, and they could be always be relied on to be sharp of the field.

And there was something else. AB de Villers became the first South African captain to publicly confront the biggest taboo for his team. Yes, they had choked, he told a stunned audience before the tournament in a manner that suggested a coming-to-terms with a troubled past and a belief they could break free of it.

They began the tournament with such force - their pace bowlers were frightening even in a seven-over lottery against Sri Lanka - that they headed to the Super Eights with the air of a team certain of its destiny. It ended with the captain conceding that he was leaving with his head spinning, and admitting, completely unprompted, that the team had choked once more in the game against Pakistan. Stepping out of a state of denial can be counted as progress, but in reality, South Africa failed even to advance to a stage where they could suffer a proper choke.

The bowling largely held up, but the batsmen failed South Africa massively. Hashim Amla's lack of runs at the top order was inexplicable, Jaques Kallis never got going, and bafflingly, de Villers, until the final match, never thought of himself worthy of the No. 4 spot. Against Pakistan, he appeared at No. 6, a spot behind Farhaan Behardien.

De Villers made no excuses. He admitted that his team had never clicked in the second half of the tournament. But his appeal to the South African fans not to give up hope is unlikely to find resonance. Not winning a single game in the business part of a tournament must rank a new low even in the context of their wretched record at world events.

On paper, India had a much better tournament. But MS Dhoni's labeling it "satisfactory" rang equally hollow. Admittedly, they found themselves in the tougher group, but everything else was in their favour. They played all their matches at one venue - the only team to do so - and more crucially, the venue suited their game. After some early life in their opening match against Afghanistan, the pitches at Premadasa became slower and drier.

It was not the bowling, never expected to be more than adequate, that failed them. Incredibly, they bowled out their opponents four out five times. But in the match they were bad, they were shown up so spectacularly by Shane Watson and David Warner that it pushed them, in the final analysis, fatally down in the net run-rate equation.

But it was the batting that didn't turn up. The problems with the openers, growing glaringly obvious with each match, deprived the team of a base. The middle order revolved entirely, and unhealthily, around Virat Kolhi. And apart from the match against England, the late flourish never arrived.

And ultimately, Dhoni can't escape scrutiny. He has been a remarkable leader on many accounts. But some of his selections and tactics on the field have been perplexing. After watching Pakistan bowl 18 overs of spin to neuter Australia, he chose to pick one spinner against a team comfortable with pace; didn't bowl his lead spinner till the 10th over, brought on Rohit Sharma before using his last specialist bowler, and gave away easy singles while defending 121.

India is the land of milk and honey for Twenty20 cricket. It is the laboratory where international players sharpen their Twenty20 skills. Yet India have failed to reach the final stages of the last three World Twenty20s. Tough questions and tough decisions can't wait forever.

Sambit Bal is the editor of ESPNcricinfo

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by Naresh28 on (October 6, 2012, 10:03 GMT)

India need to unearth new bowlers. From the domestic scene Harshal Patel looks like a good future prospect. Guys like Sreesanth and RP Singh need to be reignited. RP was one of the star bowlers in the T20 in 2007. We also need a new Nehra type bowler - a lrft armer. In a T20 a team should believe they can bowl opposition out for less than 130. India needs a good bowlers and only then we can compete in this type of format.

Posted by Naresh28 on (October 5, 2012, 10:18 GMT)

After all the crap from rival fans. INDIA WON THE U19 WC IN OZ just a few months ago!!!!!!!!! Call us flat track bullies etc. We proved to the world that with youth we can go places!!!!!!

Posted by Alexk400 on (October 4, 2012, 20:22 GMT)

Let me tell you how i make a T20 Team. I will find all batsman whose strike rate average is above 120. if you are below 120 , you are not qualified. That eliminate whole team except sehwag and raina. Also it will be impossible for india to post big scores without rampaging sehwag. When you remove sehwag , 140 will be your max score in international matches. IPL is exbition game. Dhoni is a slogger. He can slog last 4 overs for sure. But for others to get to 130 /16 is asking too much. Never gona happen. So with 140 india can not defend against bad teams like SA who can't bat against good spinners. And what dhoni do he removed extra spinner. I still have no clue why rohit sharma with his awful strike rate in the team. Dhoni and Duncan fletcher lacked common sense and a plan. India really need left arm wrist spinner. Mishra and Chawla are not good because their fingers are small no revolution or rip on the ball. They float everything to be hit for six. Time to dump dhoni and fletcher

Posted by g.narsimha on (October 4, 2012, 12:53 GMT)

IndnCrikfan-u r more than 100% correct bro , BUT IT IS NOT CRICKET FANS ALL OVER THE WORLD only our nieghbours are on single agenda of demeaning insulting ind on every loss , if we win as one arrogant pak fan put it as they allowed to wion us some one said that RAHMAN MALIK thier minister insured our win what a disgusting thinking , in this tournment our batting let us down most of the times bowlers did thier job but main problem is enternal fued among seniors its high time we should through out DHONI he is arrogant , i cant understand how he could still run the roost even after loosing 8 consicutive tests & failing ASIACUP, NOW IN T-20 WC , the only hope is the new selection committee they may put full stop on his dectorial methods hope for the better .

Posted by   on (October 4, 2012, 12:23 GMT)

There can't be a more banal display of captaincy or the lack of it from MSD. His bias against Ashwin was so obvious, right from the NZ test series (he used to bring him last and even though he took bucketful of wickets..in fact, his banal handling of Ashwin allowed Taylor to score a 100 in BLR test match, when Ash had been castling him left, right and center). Can you imagine the best bowler in the team being brought in with just 20 runs to defend, against a light batting unit like SA? can you imagine the absurdity of him defending Rohit sharma's non-violent, selfish batting? Only MSD can do such things and get away. He has not done one cerebral, right from the time he took on the captaincy. All his wins are full of luck, just like the recent SA game. He needs to go, not only from captaincy but from WK role too

Posted by g.narsimha on (October 4, 2012, 11:25 GMT)

WICKYROYPAKLOVER -So u r here again , can u enlighten me in what way pak is best team of this group if u lose it is becouse of u r meharbaani u r making tall claims ,the team which was shot out for just for 120 + that too vrs an worse,below clublevel attack as u people term our attack to just insult us &won the match vrs SA with the help of a fluck inning from GUL 15 BALL 30 RUNS OTHER WISE U R TEAM AS USUAL WOULD NOT HAVE REACHED 3 DIGIT thats biggest upset of the tuornment ,we are not like u people u r performance vrs AUS was best , reg our bowling we took all wickets vrs u what was u r bowlers score ,our bowlers made allout 4 times out of 5 ,how u r bowlers fared one more thing u r great bowler was as usual treated as clublevel by indians it appears others also playing him confidently as he could not dominate any team now it is clear that our captains arrogance , bad selection internal fued , contributed , player to player comparigion where u stand cant reach 3 figures most

Posted by Fast_Track_Bully on (October 4, 2012, 10:51 GMT)

Based on wins the teams r in the order SL(5), Aus, Ind, Pak,- (4) and WI (3). But fortunately, WI was in an easy group and they got semi. And Aus, Ind and Pak were in the same group were only 2 will get the birth. Aus did an adjustment with Pak and ensure both r safe. So, no need to disappoint, well done team India. We are reached 2nd place in T20 ranking. which shows our efforts. And I guess we will be in top3 at least whoever win the cup.

Posted by Leggie on (October 4, 2012, 8:33 GMT)

For once I see Sachin not being blamed for the defeat!

Posted by Muthu81 on (October 4, 2012, 7:34 GMT)

Super Eights grouping is not convincing. This time, the super Eights were decided irrespective of the performance in the League Stage. So, unfortunately, though India were the group toppers, they had to play all the other group toppers Australia, Pakistan and South Africa. This is a format error made by ICC. India and South Africa paid the price for this error. This made it easier for teams like West Indies and SriLanka to make it to semis by beating the easier opponents NewZealand and England. ICC should revisit their Super Eights fixtures, at least in the upcoming multination tournaments.

Posted by REHANRAYS on (October 4, 2012, 5:24 GMT)

"It is the laboratory where international players sharpen their Twenty20 skills. Yet India has failed to reach the final stages of the last three World Twenty20s." - That's the most baffling thing here about both India and South Africa being out. Players from both teams along with the Australians hog the IPL/CLT20 three months of the year and yet they are outdone by Pakistan, a team which hasn't played one home game in years and are not even participate in IPL. I think the reality lies in the fact that while Indian and South Africans players are "sharpening" their skills at IPL spread over 8-9 teams & running after big money, Pakistan keep playing either as a one team or in much smaller leagues to improve quality of their game, eventually leading to much better teamwork and understanding of each other's game. How can you expect Indian players to turn up and do well when for more than 1/4th of the year they are not even playing as India despite they are train to play for themselves only

Posted by yogimrcricket on (October 4, 2012, 4:18 GMT)

India were good rather than satisfactory, the only thing that they weren't were lucky. I think good luck also comes in quota, and Dhoni seemed to have fill that out long ago.. Otherwise, a team that wins 4 out of their 5 matches ought to get to the semis. Or what do you expect, either win the tournament unbeaten else only one loss and you are out. The format needs questioning too. India inflicted the heaviest defeat of the tournament to the England. What was the point of having that game if it had to count for nothing. Just a sensible points format of points being carried forward and the team who were good throughout would have progressed, rather than the team who were good in the super eights.

Posted by vinodkd99 on (October 4, 2012, 3:43 GMT)

Mr. Bal, India won 4/5 matches and bundled opposition in all those 4 matches inside 20 overs. Do you term it is as inconsistency?

Posted by Kali420 on (October 4, 2012, 2:05 GMT)

I would like to see Kohli as new T20 captain.

Posted by cricket9lover on (October 4, 2012, 1:03 GMT)

What I think in present situation India neither lack in talent nor good bowlers I would take this oppourtunity to suggest few names like rahane best batsman in ipl,shikhar dhawan a very good opener good in pull,hook and cut recently made 152,we have rahul sharma ,ishant sharma doing well after surgery,jaidev undadkat doing well in indA vs nzA,awana did well in ipl. The seletion of indian team was not satisfactory and I think it won't be satisfactory in future also I think these few guys which I have suggested would have made indian team look in T20's like as follows: shikhar dhawan,rahane,kohli,raina,yuraj,dhoni,ashwin ,irfan,harbhajan,rahul sharma,zaheer khan,ishant sharma,unadkad,awana,gambhir,sehwag.

Posted by Dark.Matter on (October 4, 2012, 0:01 GMT)

Actually indian team is facing similar problem what pakistan team was facing in 2002-3. too many old players and with some seriously good performances in the past having huge fan club . But pakistan cricket board took huge decision at that point and replaced huge players (waqar , wasim , saqlain , saeed anwar, ijaz , moin khan) with very much newbies (imran farhat, hafeez, mohammad asif, rana naveed, shoib malik, kamran akmal). BCCI needs to take such decision .

Posted by kumarcoolbuddy on (October 3, 2012, 23:09 GMT)

Obviously India played better cricket than Pak, SL, AUS, SA and ENG. Only thing was India was not successful strategically. That was India's mistake and also partially responsible for India being out of this WC. India won against SL, Pak, SA, ENG. Yes India also lost to AUS sorry I have to India lost to Shane Watson. But one more interesting point is AUS lost cheaply to Pak after that. Which team is better now? Don't make criticizing India as your full-time job. Focus on other things too.

Posted by jerryman on (October 3, 2012, 21:22 GMT)

heard Dhoni has signed a new book deal , shud be a handbook for all cricket captains "101 excuses after losing a match' going into 2nd printing , first issue has already sold out lol

Posted by StatisticsRocks on (October 3, 2012, 20:03 GMT)

Before the start of the T20 WC India were ranked 5th or 6th in T20's well below SA, ENG, PAK etc.Yet everyone in the world expected a 5th (or 6th) ranked team to win this WC and are commenting mostly about IND when the top two ranked team failed miserably. I am sure AB & BROAD wont complain and must be very happy that IND is the focus of all the headline. We all know Indian team is on decline especially in the bowling department and the decline is inevitable. I am glad as I sincerely hope it shakes up BCCI, selection committee to channel their focus on developing young fast bowling talent and not just encourage talents like Unmukt Chand etc. WHY THE WHOLE WORLD H A T E S US and WANTS US TO DO VERY BAD. THE IRONY IS THEY R NOT HAPPY WHEN WE DO BAD EITHER AND CONTINUE TO BASH US. So I am lost as to what the fans of the world expect us to do. U may say BAN India from playing Cricket..think twice as cricket will be a non-existent sport wo us.

Posted by Al_Bundy1 on (October 3, 2012, 19:36 GMT)

India's biggest problem is team selection. We don't get rid of our star batsmen even when it's clear that they are done. Gambhir and Sehwag don't belong in T20. Chawla and Dinda don't belong in any Indian team. Ashwin is no Ajmal. Forget about pacers, why can't we find young spinners like Raza? There's no shortage of talent in India. We should give a chance to young spinners like Iqbal Abdulla, Harmeet Singh, etc, and young pacers like Awana, Abu Nechim, Shami Ahmed, Sandeep Sharma, etc. Drop Rohit Sharma. Let him prove his talent in Ranji Trophy and IPL.

Posted by   on (October 3, 2012, 18:56 GMT)

@RandyOZ brother how can we win u19 wc (i think 2 or 3 tournaments all won by india only in u19).india has talent but our selectors select from names rather than players that is star culture in india.india lost 8-0 tests but they selected same team for nz series (leave dravid as he anounced retirement)

Posted by ddlj26 on (October 3, 2012, 18:25 GMT)

@RandyOZ do you know who won the U-19 world cup in Australian soil yes you heard it right it was INDIA!! Do you know the amount of U-16 academies in India that exist, there are 1000's of these, just because of the sheer talent at that level... So to say india lack young talent is a wrong statement, yes India despite all this talent have not performed consistently at test level or world events and that happens Once Cricket and Fame get into the heads of the promising cricketers at the junior level once they reach seniority... i blame the BCCI for not handling cricketers properly But you do have to keep in mind that it took all of AUS, SA, PAK and SL to knock India out of this T20 world cup.... that just shows how much India is valued off and how countries are jealous and want to be in the shoes of our Indian Superstars.... But as i mentioned before to be a superstar there comes the obvious distractions which Indian cricket tends to suffer too often for my liking

Posted by RandyOZ on (October 3, 2012, 17:26 GMT)

The problem with india is, like with england, they have no young talent coming though.

Posted by cjscanada on (October 3, 2012, 17:03 GMT)

For those who criticize the Pakistani,s, we need to appreciate the fact that Pakistan went through a lot of turmoil cricket wise, not having anyone to play in Pakistan, due to attacks, having gone through scandals, no major victories in a long while and playing with young and average players apart from a world class spinner. It is in this backdrop that you admire what the Pakistani's have achieved in the last few months and feel happy that at least their fans have something to cheer about. Apart from the odd game they have played with a lot of unity and self belief and deserve to be in the Semi's. I hope this team goes on to win the finals, I will not be disappointed though I wish the WI to win the cup as I love the way Samuel has put in a lot of hard work in molding the team. When we won the 1st world cup, we had a young side and believers, who refused to go away. We now have stars but somehow the belief was not apparent. Every team strives for the best. Our best was just not enough.

Posted by ejsiddiqui on (October 3, 2012, 16:52 GMT)

The main problem with SA and India was that they were in Group of Death where two of the best has to go out.

Posted by   on (October 3, 2012, 16:50 GMT)

India: First round: Won 1 against Afghanistan and won the second inconsequential game when both teams had qualified. Super 8: Won 1, got thrashed in another, almost lost the third. Or India won 4 and lost 1 due to rain Bottom line: They performed worst than at least 3 other teams easily Australia, Sri Lanka and Pakistan and they are going home. Why didn't they try to accelerate when they were winning convincingly against Pakistan? Why didn't they try to slow down Australia and choose to bowl part timers? Why was all this left to the last match knowing that run rate will come into play in a tight group? Stop making excuses as this is not the first time India is going home early in a T20 World Cup.

Posted by happycric on (October 3, 2012, 16:45 GMT)

Aus vs Pak was fixed to eliminate stronger team like India and S Africa. Believe it or not.

Posted by BrianLara2000 on (October 3, 2012, 16:36 GMT)

The logic of NRR determining the team that moves ahead is a farce. A "W" is a "W" - be it by 1 run or 50 runs. Since India and Pak finished with the same number of wins, the team to move ahead should be determined by 1. head to head result 2. have a one-off 10 over game or even a rematch.

weather will always play a part and should be eliminated from the equation. By using NRR, we only add more weight to weather. Stupid ICC. India should have moved on.

Posted by   on (October 3, 2012, 16:30 GMT)

Sorry sambit, cannot agree with you. There are several other reasons for the elimination of India. I don't want to talk about SA, they failed to show any authority in 3 successive games and they are out. But India's is not so the case. Just like Aus won thumping against India, Indians thumped out Pak in similar manner. Aussies may have made sure to do enough in their loss to get thru, but you can't argue their loss is one of the worst any(bigger) teams had in the tournament. Who failed and who got through on this last day of NRRs was as much luck driven just as well the teams performed.Our human psychology is to forget the past and remember whats happened recently.You may be blaming India for their downfall but it is dismal to have such a format in major tournaments where NRR decides who gets thru.ICC looks into it so that enuf chance given to the best teams to go thru. Above stats from Atheus shows WI no way are the team to be here whereas Indians were more consistent.

Posted by ravikiran.bits on (October 3, 2012, 16:13 GMT)

no matter what! india deserves to be in semi's than anyone else. SL team looks stable in all depts. all other semi finalists are lacking something. Aus..poor middle order WI.. poor middle order avg bowling.. PAK..poor batting

Posted by jerryman on (October 3, 2012, 15:59 GMT)

The difference is that De villiers admit they plyed poorly, Dhoni gives excuses , anyway both sides should be aware thatey had the wrong team selection , with levi out of form he should have been dropped before and were guilty of toying with the batting order .. De Villires shud have come in at 3 ail the games , same mistake ross taylor did as well , this could have been the difference in close games .. India were not playing as a team more dependent on solo performances . Now the BCCI should have the guts to have a vision for the future , bring in the younger players , especially in the T20 format ,but in any given game they should have about 6-7 players contributing solidly to succeed. Also develop pacy wickets , or there will be no youngsters willing to become pace bowlers ... Biggest problems with asian teams is their inability to handle pace bowlers on a true pacy wicket , maybe the board should invest and have an exchange program with Australia ,so that talent can be fostered

Posted by   on (October 3, 2012, 15:39 GMT)

To all you fair weather SA fans,so it seems South Africa is a poor tournament side. This is not new. Look at the other amazing feats the Proteas have achieved outside of ICC tournaments before deeply insulting some of the most committed and talented cricketers in the world.

Posted by henchart on (October 3, 2012, 15:28 GMT)

I find fans repeatedly mentioning 4 wins out of 5 absurd.Wins in matches against Afghan and Eng matter nothing when seeds had been allotted.What mattered was performance in Super 8 .What prevented India from winning all their super 8 games?Surely not the schedule. Poor cricket against Aus cannot and should not be attributed to drizzle.Aus indeed stabbed India both from front and back as someone very rightly posted but India is the one which showed its back to Aus for driving the knife in .Indians missed out against Pak also by taking 12-15 balls more to reach 129.All these factors contributed to elimination on NRR basis.No point crying over milk spilt but it is India's milk which is getting spilt tournament after tournament.No wonder Indian fans are anguished.Unfortunately that doesnt seem to rub on their demigods.

Posted by yubitrippin on (October 3, 2012, 15:23 GMT)

Pakistan won 4/5 as well. They just didn't get destroyed the one game they lost. Would it be fair to Pakistan to not make the semis after losing just one game? Get over it and play your IPL. All the bowlers know the Indian batsman from IPL and the batsman know the bowlers from IPL. Blame IPL.

Posted by oops292 on (October 3, 2012, 15:16 GMT)

@voyager : u said it mate . HAfeez u smarty

Posted by oops292 on (October 3, 2012, 15:13 GMT)

@Nikhil Desai : Small minds , small targets and small achievements . We have bigger picture in mind . And our most important match is the Final for which we will qualify for sure . Inshallah .

Posted by HarikumarV on (October 3, 2012, 15:05 GMT)

I will tell what is unfair with this WCT20. The table toppers in the group stages were grouped together for super eights and the table paupers (yes that they are - not runners :P) together. That is an absolute farce. To go by seedings in a format which has hardly been played that often internationally is downright stupid. Looking at the semifinal line up, can you agree that the best 4 teams (purely based on tournament form) are there? NO WAY. ICC is just being DUMB!

Posted by fudgys11 on (October 3, 2012, 15:05 GMT)

I read somewhere that Indian batting is over-rated. I am surprised that Rohit Sharma was reluctant to go after the bowling inspite of knowing that we had to score fast .No point in losing only 6 wickets only and not trying to score fast.The moment bowlers started bowling short our batsmen were founding wanting and kept on trying same okld strokes.... No innovation. High time Dhoni also should be shown the door as captaincy was of the lowest order. Easy to justify later with silly reasons. Batting anyway is beyond him. We had the advantage of knowing what to do , only we didn't know how to do it. Shame on the management to just lose out. If this is not enough to make changes in the team, then we will never be able to take any decision. selectors please select different teams for all the 3 formats and diffferent Captains. Keeps everybody on their toes and innovation would came into picture as each Captain would try to outdo other. Even the pool of players would be bigger.

Posted by   on (October 3, 2012, 14:37 GMT)

The best 2 teams qualified: there's no doubt about that.

The reason India didn't qualify, IMHO, is a subtle element that's been missing in Indian cricket: Australianism.

By Australianism, I mean the following philosophy (in life, and in cricket as well):

There is only one way to pursue an objective, and that is by its relentless pursuit.

Unarguably, India could have gotten to Pakistan's middling total in far better than 17 overs. If Australia could chase down 140 in 14.5 overs, I find it inexplicable that the Indian batsmen (who are about as talented as the Aussie batsmen) dawdle around for 17 overs chasing 129.

This is a characteristic of Indian cricket: the intent to dominate does not exist. Only the desire to win exists.

And the rules of the game do dictate that dominating teams are deemed "better" and qualify, and rightly so.

Posted by spb24 on (October 3, 2012, 14:31 GMT)

(Continue) 7.Dhoni(We dont need ODI innings-stratergy any more in T20.We all are tried to see the same things happening again & again.With seven batsman stratergy,apart from initial power play overs,always 10th-15th overs should be targetted, after that some quality frontline bowlers will come into bowl,then our guys struggle to score 10 runs per over including you..that 10 runs will come anyway even if ashwin or irfan plays the final overs...) 8.Irfan(Getting better with bowling,but need to work on pace, if 140kph+ with your swing it will be ideal & you can be back on track as you are earlier,but batting clueless.Spend some time with Virat.9.zaheer(Battery is getting weaker,its time for him to give away) 10.Ashwin (Did his part,but learn from ajmal on attacking front).11.Balaji(Bowled well,but with this pace you cant sustain the success.But where did you learned your world class fielding skills-Pathetic.In T20 all 11 has to field well no exceptions).

Posted by Eat_Sleep_Play_Cricket on (October 3, 2012, 14:28 GMT)

@ WickyRoy.paklover: Dude! please open up your vision and you will see that pak never performed except the last game. Its nice to know you cheer your team but making them stars after one game is little over the top! The fact lies that except jamshed no one can bat, Except Ajmal no one can bowl and everyone is riding on past glory. Again, it was your day yesterday and you deserved to go through. Good luck and i hope your party does not end tomorrow! Cheers.

Posted by spb24 on (October 3, 2012, 14:26 GMT)

Sambal nice article.Just my views on the team.1.Sewhag(After shock treatment(Aus match), he started trying to play responsible,but his mind is patterned to do the same- He might need some "ART OF THINKING" (not living) yoga) 2.Gambhir(Cant blame him,since he wont suit this format).3.Kohli(Improving his game day by day and his attitude too- Rocks)4.Yuvi(He tried his best, but he is not the same old,cant blame him,but he is not 100% fit for sure)5.Raina(Team man,but needs to tighten his techniques, he is far good T20 player when he thinks about his game..I feel changing his position often doesnt help him to stratergize his game )6.ROHIT(Mr.Batting superstar.Im sorry for his so called fans.What a selfish play yesterday,playing for his spot/average.How many full toss not even dare to attempt a shot." BIGGEST BLUNDER" to be in the squad.FORGET ABOUT IN ELEVEN..WHO WANTS 25 runs in 27 balls from a gifted/naturally talented/etc..When India requires a equation of quick 30-40 runs)(Continue)

Posted by Eat_Sleep_Play_Cricket on (October 3, 2012, 14:24 GMT)

@henchart : Cheer up mate! Reaching Semi Final and not making further does not show any greatness and at the end it just goes down as luck in Super 8! Hope the next game does not end your party!

Posted by rairatank on (October 3, 2012, 14:22 GMT)

Ok India & SA are themselves to blame not reach to semies. But how on earth after group stage all teams winning both matches and stood first in their group were in one group and all teams won only one match (in case of WI its none) were in other group. Please save CRICKET.....

Posted by md4cric on (October 3, 2012, 14:22 GMT)

Just when India's out- gave a moment to think about who's in Semis. Super Eights are divided into 2 groups to reduce total number of games and length of the tournaments.I still think that when done with Super Eights Top FOUR teams from the Stacked Eight teams should go tot he Semis with beteer points and Run rate to keep the semis in balance.

Posted by shrastogi on (October 3, 2012, 14:19 GMT)

Dhoni made a few errors but to err is human. Law of averages is catching up with him but he shouldnt do to that to his fans and nation what Manmohan Singh has done to our nation India by faltering but not accepting and hopelessly blaming other factors for his misreble governance. Dhoni wouldnt become small if he graciously accepts that some of the strategies that he thought as correct were India's undoing and he hasnt been able to lead India to SF in 3 consecutive t20 world cups, the reasons for which may be beyond his leadership also. Not reaching SF is big blow when conditions were more home like and Dhoni shouldnt be happy with satisfactory performance otherwise. I think if Indian selectors dont make a few changes in the side it would be most unfortunate though Dhoni should remain leader.

Posted by Bollo on (October 3, 2012, 14:17 GMT)

@Atheus. I agree that it was very unfair that teams topping their group received no advantage. However, once in a group of 4 like the Super Eights, comparisons with other groups become meaningless, and results prior to it become irrelevant. The simple equation is that you need to finish 1 or 2 in your new group to progress (whether that be on points, goal difference, run rate, what have you).

WI did enough (just), NZ missed out (just) as did India.

Posted by   on (October 3, 2012, 14:16 GMT)

hey guys India did well, Anyway luck was not our side by losing 1 game only, so its ok. i have a question to all Indian cricket lovers. You guys want India losing to Pakistan and entering the semi's, or you guys winning against Pakistan and not entering the semi's. Think that way. who agree's with me.

Posted by   on (October 3, 2012, 14:16 GMT)

@WickyRoy.paklover: There has never been anything like gift when the battle is between India n Pakistan, so forget it and admit it that Pakistan was beaten up convincingly by India. How can a team never been able to defeat India in any of the encounters in World Cup event, can even think of gifting victory, not even in their dreams.

Posted by henchart on (October 3, 2012, 14:12 GMT)

Stacking the side with 7 batsmen and ending up with 150 odd was always going to prove fatal for India in terms of making it to semis and it did.Indian bowling was not strong enough to restrict Proteas to 121 or less.Why was Ashwin not asked to open the bowling?I have always felt Dhoni isnt as astute a Captain he is made out to be.T 20 is most demanding format and the likes of Sehwag ,Zaheer,Balaji are all liabilities in this format.Infact India must revamp T 20 team with Kohli as skipper .Rahane,Tiwari,Raina,Unmukt Chand must comprise the batting order.Yuvraj needs some more time and maybe ought to focus on 50 Over Format.Sehwag,Dhoni ,Zaheer ,Harbhajan,Rohit Sharma and Balaji ,ideally ,must not represent India in T 20 matches.Sehwag and Dhoni are good for 50 over format not 20 over ones.

Posted by Rolling_in_The_Deep on (October 3, 2012, 14:12 GMT)

Sanjay manjrekar has put this in perspective that T-20 is a lottery. Any team can win on any day. Even Minnows like Afg or BD or ZIM can upset giants like Aus, Pak, India, SA. Such is the nature of the beast. From Now on, all four teams can win it. May the best team win..Happy Watching... A Cricket Purist from Pakistan

Posted by SudeepSharma_Nepal on (October 3, 2012, 14:11 GMT)

Well written Sambit Bal. I do think India need a radical change in the way they read the match situations and select the team. Batting Irfan twice in the opening slot was a farcical call from Mr. Dhoni especially up against the quality opponents. Playing three spinners in the match against Australia dropping Shewag just because all the three spinners were successful against the English team was a blind faith.I do think Indians should drop both the openers from the T20 formats, you need people with great fitness in the t20 format. Its a format where you put everything in a game where things go at high voltage, awareness is the key. Both Gautam and shewag are slacking and both of them have been sorted out by the opponenets on their weaknesses. I think T20 should be led by Virat, he will inject the right amount of venom and control in the team. Dhoni is too defensive in his approach and he is being too calm in the match situations,you need a proactive leader, dhoni is Ok for ODI and test.

Posted by Naresh28 on (October 3, 2012, 14:10 GMT)

@INDIAN FANS - TIME TO STOP MOANING. WE LOST FAIR AND SQUARE. RADICAL CHANGE NEEDED IN FUTURE WITH REGARDS TO OUR TEAM. WE HAVE TALENTED YOUNG PLAYERS BUT KEEP USING OLDIES & FAILED OPENERS. POOR BOWLERS. REMEMBER INDIA U19 WON THE WC IN OZ JUST RECENTLY.

Posted by Raj1969 on (October 3, 2012, 14:06 GMT)

I do not Australia wanted India in semi finals as we r a very dangerous side,,,,,,,,

Posted by   on (October 3, 2012, 14:05 GMT)

right Try to Decrease the NRR difference

Posted by Baundele on (October 3, 2012, 14:05 GMT)

India came to the WT20 un(der)-prepared. They did not have a clear idea about their best XI. Openers were a liability, Rohit Sharma was still playing and failing, Tiwary was carrying drink, Balaji was getting dropped for Piyus Chawla, and Irfan Pathan was opening the batting. Unfortunately for India, WT20 was not long enough like the IPL to find the right combination before getting out of the competition.

Posted by ListenToMe on (October 3, 2012, 14:03 GMT)

Excellent analysis! I also felt the same watching all matches India played in this series. The only point I want to add:

1. Dhoni is not able to score more runs in the death overs. Still he comes as the last recognized batsman. I have noticed that when he batted in the death overs, India's run rate did not increase as expected. So the first thing he needs to do now is promote himself up the order by two and send Raina and Rohit or Yuvraj at the death overs.

Posted by sukku88 on (October 3, 2012, 14:00 GMT)

Australia & Pak are the well deserved semi-finalists and are favorites to be finalists.. But it can't be said so, in case of other two semifinalists Srilanka and West Indies... They are through because of unscientific grouping by ICC for Super8's.. Saffers and Indian team have themselves to blame after the under-performance of their key world class players... Anyways.. All the best to all the semi-finalists.. Hope the matches will not be one sided & will be well fought..!!

Posted by henchart on (October 3, 2012, 13:55 GMT)

An average Indian Cricket fan pours anguish event after event but that is of no avail.Dhoni and co. care their foot.Next on their agenda is Champions League.Indians are lagging horribly behind in International T 20 .Pakistan,Aus and even NZL are better teams in this format .Indians can only rake moolah in lower rung Premier League games played basically to pander to the whims of corporate honchos and lapped up by gullible millions on TV and in stadia.

Posted by dalok on (October 3, 2012, 13:53 GMT)

I have to disagree with Sambit. The fact that on the last day any of the four teams could make to semis speak of how fickle the selection process was and how inconsequential the earlier games were. It is not a good selection process when extent of your win/loss on a single day determines the outcome. To me this was a clear case for having more matches at the super 8 stage. Less I say about the first round the better it is. I am sure you must have noted that all the teams that topped their rounds were put in the same super 8 group and there they were competing with themselves. So I disagree that India can only blame themselves for their ouster. I believe there are plenty of others to blame (read format) when you don't make to semis after winning 4 games out 5! I would have said the same things if Pakistan or Australia had to sit out the semis at the expense of India.

Posted by Atheus on (October 3, 2012, 13:48 GMT)

India: Won 4, Lost 1. NRR after Super Eights -0.274. Knocked Out. West Indies: Won 1, Tie 1(Won after Super Over), Lost 2, No Result 1. NRR after Super Eights -0.397. Into the Semi-Final.

Posted by WickyRoy.paklover on (October 3, 2012, 13:41 GMT)

Among 4 teams in dis grotp,pak lokd the most balancd side ön paper,so far,only half of pak team have prformd so far n stil pak z wining convincingly unlike ovr.ratd indian team which had evry thng going in their n yet won riding on luck against sa,while pak giftd that match to their neighbours,INDIAN Fans must realize that ind was weekest in dis pool n were ovr.reliant on kohli,N I THNK JUSTICE HAVE PREVAILD IN D END SO INDIAN FANS MUST RISE ABOVE "SORE LOOSER APROACH"

Posted by   on (October 3, 2012, 13:37 GMT)

It was pathetic batting by Rohit Sharma who plodded on to 25 from 27 balls and never even tried to accelerate. He is still trying to make sure of his berth in the team and not playing to potential. Its high time he be replaced and talent may be there but in the hidden form and may never surface if he never tries to bring it out !Should get more youngsters from Under-19 into the Team India if India has to win any future World fixtures - be it T20 or ODI-50 !

Posted by soumyas on (October 3, 2012, 13:24 GMT)

Australia stabbed india from both sides front and back. they chased indias 150 in 15 overs which was stabbing from front, but india recovered by beating pak. Then while chasing same 150 against pak they lost by 30 plus runs by which is stabbed india from back.

Posted by Masud1978 on (October 3, 2012, 13:23 GMT)

Come on people! Stop crying already. Four teams were going to go to semis and the better four teams qualified. Now enjoy the game if you can without your favorite team and stop whinning.

Posted by CricketLifer on (October 3, 2012, 13:23 GMT)

When a captain of the team that is existing before making it to semifinals says that team's performance is satisfactory it shows a lack of goal setting of winning the championship. That one statement more than sums up Indian cricket organization's (selectors, board, coach, captain, team) frame of mind. Enough said!

Posted by cricpolitics on (October 3, 2012, 13:22 GMT)

Indians have no excuse for the elimination as it was very well earned. First Pakistan did not allow them to run away with the run rate in the match they lost to India. Pakistanis were smart enough to restrict the run rate once they knew they had no chance of winning it, then they really strangled Australians with their all out spin attack and took the breath out of Australian batting. Indians just failed to materialize the chances when they had full control over it, e.g. knowing exactly what was needed to stay on top in their matches.

Posted by Harding119 on (October 3, 2012, 13:18 GMT)

Come on India, just admit that you did not deliver when you had to. England are not moaning about rain, group or other matters are they. We were pushed on the net run rate and it is the same for you too. Just get on with playing cricket Mr Dhoni. You have yourself to blame for not being able to pick the right batting line up. How could you leave Sehwag out? My mind boggles. Enough has been said about the lack of spin bowlers.....nuff said. Sri Lankans looks to be the part and I do hope they reach the finals as the host nation. The crowds have been wonderful and lively too. Beautiful grounds. Looks like the SriLankan army that has taken over the grounds have done an excellent job at it. My estimation of Dhoni has been severely affected in the manner he has not been able to marshal his forces. Harding, England

Posted by cricpolitics on (October 3, 2012, 13:13 GMT)

Indians think that they have won the world cup every time they beat Pakistan. But the reality is little different my friends. Pakistan has always been a much better team on the field than Indians even if they keep losing to India. The record speaks for itself, Pakistan is the only team who has qualified for the knockout stages in every T20 world cup, two finals and one semi final in the first three world cups and now again through the semi finals. And this is all without even participating IPL which Indians claim that it's producing world class cricketers and benefiting Indian cricket, the Indian team keeps proving it wrong though. Let's just accept the bitter truth that Indians are just not good enough, there are better teams ahead of them.

Posted by   on (October 3, 2012, 13:09 GMT)

In the Australian match,the run rate damage was devastating, it was known at the end of that match itself and this is not being stated in hindsight, a common fan knew that, Dhoni as captain of the Indian National Team should have known better on how it could come to bite us back and on how to mitigate that known risk.

Risk : Poor NRR creating a very tough qualify scenario in the future Risk Mitigation : Try to Decrease the NRR difference, especially if an Opportunity presents itself where the risk of loss in match is low. Execution : NONE,Opportunity presented itself in the Pakistan match and the mitigation plan(if there) was not executed.Was it because there was no risk mitigation ? or worse, risk not identified? or was it because of Kohli was not following the plan ?

Even in the last match SA match, should have planned for 180 first but instead it seemed like team was aiming for 200, instead ended up with 150. The batting didn't look impressive.

Posted by AjaySridharan on (October 3, 2012, 13:06 GMT)

Winning the toss and electing to field made it easier for Australia to pursue such the lame tactic of not going for a win. Had they batted first, it would have made for a much better contest, since Pakistan needed a win anyway. I think giving the captains the option of "deciding" to bat or bowl first is redundant...it's not like they really earn that option. It's the toss of a coin for heaven's sake. It only creates another opportunity to criticize them. They should take that uncontrollable element out. Whoever wins the toss must be asked to bat first. Period. Then you are forced to adapt your game. To make matters even and interesting, they can be allowed to have say 13 players on their roster at the time of the toss, and asked to pick their final 11 within 10 mins of the toss. That way, the toss doesn't become a crippling event that sometimes decides the fate of the game upfront. Toss should only be a means to kick things off.

Posted by NCP1 on (October 3, 2012, 13:02 GMT)

T20 is a short format and anything can happen, Dhoni's use of Virat and Rohit even when India are on top goes against all logic of the game. He got away against Pakistan because the state of the game was such that batsman didn't attack Virat's nothing bowling, he paid for it against SA, the semi final spot was gone with one over from Rohit when any of the regular bowler would have done better. Why this guy is rated so high I would never know, Indian cricket in general has improved so much they are just coming on par with the other teams, still short in fielding and Bowling. So called great batting isn't so great wuthout Sachin and Dravid. In test matches abroad they have been exposed and this will continue.

Posted by lee_man on (October 3, 2012, 12:55 GMT)

I thought that the IPL would have been the breeding ground for T20 players for the Indian team. In my view, T20 is a young man's game. All the old timers cost runs in the field as well as wicket taking opportunities. Give the youngsters a shoo in. They field better and they can only improve in the other aspects. The talent is there.

Posted by voyager on (October 3, 2012, 12:54 GMT)

I think Hafeez smartest captaincy was in the game against India. Though they blew the match due to their nervousness, but at the same time they realised very quickly that they are not going to win the match and instead of lementing and doing crazy things, they did the damage control and did not let India score runs quickly and extend them as much as they could to ensure that India did not get too much advantage. It can be argued that India was eliminated in the game against Pakistan. They could have done more to Pakistan than what Australia did to them but they didn't and couldn't!

Posted by SaleemSabir on (October 3, 2012, 12:53 GMT)

After the dust has setteled today we should reflect and do the analysis....I believe the tiem has come to get rid of the sacred cows in the team, every other team has done it in this format, Misbah is out of Pakistan so is Younus, Greame smith out of South africa...pick any team and you will fin dits a mixture of Young and a few Older hands but importantly all other captains ( expcept srilanka) are at least 10 years younger than Mr Cool....! its time to change the leadership... Youvraj is the best candidate followed by Kohli, Pakistan was not beaten by India they were beaten by Youvraj and Kohli... both are big hearted, brave, match winners who can not only win a match but inspire others to lift the whole team... unfortunately Mr Cool is none of these and now Indian fans & selectors should think seriously about making seperate captains for T20 and other Formats.

Posted by cric_follower on (October 3, 2012, 12:50 GMT)

This sums it up... No shame in going down.. It is how you go down.. Very good analysis Sambit..

And ultimately, Dhoni can't escape scrutiny. He has been a remarkable leader on many accounts. But some of his selections and tactics on the field have been perplexing. After watching Pakistan bowl 18 overs of spin to neuter Australia, he chose to pick one spinner against a team comfortable with pace; didn't bowl his lead spinner till the 10th over, brought on Rohit Sharma before using his last specialist bowler, and gave away easy singles while defending 121.

Posted by   on (October 3, 2012, 12:46 GMT)

There is no need of any tough decisions with Indian T20 team at the moment. I think Mr. Bal has been too critical about the matter. Even though India didn't make to the semis they played reasonably good cricket apart from one bad match... Australia is not mighty a team as many has projected... they rely heavily on their top 3 batsman to perform, they failed against Pakistan and they were all out so cheaply. We cannot conclude that one team is better than other; It was all luck game than exceptional skills. There were close decisions which went against India in match against Australia. It is wrong to say South Africa and India don't deserve a place in Semis. At least they toped their respective groups in first round. It is very funny for me that all team that toped their groups made to play each other in super eight competitions. Well I don't think the best teams are playing Semis, but Australia and Pakistan deserve their spot. All is well; many congrats for team India...

Posted by VickGower on (October 3, 2012, 12:34 GMT)

Not sure which tournament Sambit's been watching. To put SA and Ind in the same sentence, to imply their performances were similar is a joke in itself. Case in point: "They were inconsistent, scratchy, confused, and poorly led." Really, Sambit? The team that won 3 out of 4, bowled out teams in most of their games, despite being in the tough group was Inconcistent? As far as I can tell India was pretty consistently good, and SA consistently bad.

Posted by Philip_Gnana on (October 3, 2012, 12:32 GMT)

If you want to be champions, then you should be able to beat all the teams. It does not matter what the composition of the groups were. Give credit to the organisers as they did prepare pitches of varying pace so that all had a chance. The only team to have an unfair advantage here was India, in being able to play all their games at the Premadasa Stadium. Labelling Australia as a one man band does not hold as the rest rarely had a look in.

WINNING AND WINNING BIG SAYS THAT YOU ARE CHAMPIONS.

Posted by manishv on (October 3, 2012, 12:28 GMT)

Why don't they play more games in super 8? This is only 4 hour game and for sure they can play round robin with all teams to determine who finishes in top 4.

They just needed 1 extra week and that could have determined the top 4. Team winning 4 out of 5 and losing the one with big margin is not right for a tournament. Australia also lost big against Pakistan... This is weirdo format... Instead... they should play the knock out tournament. You are fared equally then... It's better... you know... you lose and you are out.

Posted by venkatesh018 on (October 3, 2012, 12:21 GMT)

India had everything doled out in its favour---a single spin-friendly venue, the scheduling of its last Super 8 being the last of the phase etc. Still they blew it because of the baffling Playing XIs picked by the captain(no second spinner against S Africa), and a baffling batting order which kept MSD down at No.6 or 7. No use blaming the rain or Pakistan !

Posted by Philip_Gnana on (October 3, 2012, 12:20 GMT)

Well thought and analysed critique here. Thank you Sambit. The last paragraph virtually summarises it for all. The penultimate paragraph shows the glaring omission by Dhoni. For Dhoni, to say that it was a satisfactory performance, is being blatantly ignorant. 18 Overs of spin ignored. This is damming. Leaving Sehwag out! is like the SL's leaving Jayasuriya out. Now one would have dreamt of this happening. SA, have been a great disappointment to all. The quality and the balance that we thought they had did not come up to scratch. CHOKERS TO THE LETTER. Quite rightly admitted by ABV. Pakistanis, have the grit and determination about them. It will now be up to SL to see if they can bowl those skiddy spinners to them. For the Paks, it their spinners who win their matches. Philip Gnana, Surrey

Posted by   on (October 3, 2012, 12:19 GMT)

The tournament has proved where Indian cricket team really belongs and that it out of the elite league where they think they belong. It just proves that you can have money and muscle power and try to rule the cricket community but first you need a team capable of winning in the field. Let the best team wins the tournament.

Posted by CricketLifer on (October 3, 2012, 11:49 GMT)

In the final analysis, it was not just one thing that let India down. It was attention to a lot of details that seemed to be lacking. From choosing of team (Rahane, Tewari no getting selected even after repeated failure by Gambhir and Sehwag) to bowling the right bowlers at the time (case in point of Rohit bowling ahead of Ashwin in the most important phase of the match). More importantly though, I am convinced that you cannot win T20 without the more athletic and purposed fielding. Fielders have to pounce on the ball and not wait - SA converted a number of singles into doubles, Indian batsmen hardly pressed for a second run unless it was very safe. India may have bowled out other side 4 out of 5 times but could the Indian bowlers put a choke hold when it was absolutely needed, like Pakistan did against Australia? India needs to get a lot of basics right to be a contender, just skills and past performance is no guarantee of championship.

Posted by StaalBurgher on (October 3, 2012, 11:48 GMT)

Storm in a tea cup as usual. T20 is so short, and as many have pointed out, any of the top 8 can beat any other the others. Favourites are that by the slimmest of margins. Say what you want but Oz thrashed India and then got thrashed in return. That is T20. SA had no opportunity to choke. They won a few and then lost a few against teams that played well when they didn't. Donald dropping his bat and Boucher blocking when we needed a single is choking. Merely losing against two equal strength teams is just sport.

Posted by   on (October 3, 2012, 11:41 GMT)

India played better than Pakistan, how? We beat them? We won the most important game of the tournament. Sorry Pakistan fans, you still cannot beat India in WC game.

Posted by   on (October 3, 2012, 11:34 GMT)

Where was the Dhoni of old? Why did he not move himself up the order after Kohli got out? It is ridiculous to be satisfied winning the game but getting knocked out of the tourney. The Aussies especially would have put the bowling team to the sword in a similar situation trying to put up a big score. At least Dhoni and Raina went at it hard but Rohit Sharma going at less than a run a ball is unforgivable in the context of what was needed. That noted bowler Duplesis went for 3 runs in over number 11. And then when bowling, Dhoni should have gone for the throat after the first 2 wickets went. I mean Ashwin got his first over in the 10th, after Rohit got a bowl. I'm amazed that Dhoni has been allowed to get away with this just because India won by 1 run.

Posted by   on (October 3, 2012, 11:32 GMT)

I wish people would give it a rest!! In any tournament format its about who performs on the day, if you played a league format over a period of time it would be clear which team is the best as its not a case of elimination based on one defeat or one poor day at the office.

Yes, India team selectors need to stop pushing 'fading stars' such as Sehwag and company!!! I challenge anyone to take over Dhoni's captaincy and do better as its clear that no indian captain has ever been given ultimate power to select and play the team he wants, except the 2007 T20 world cup where a team of relatively unknown cricketers were given a chance. Lets face it the selectors thought india were going to get slaughtered without the stars and would have had a great excuse to use Dhoni as the scapegoat after that tournament had india not won it!

Posted by Bollo on (October 3, 2012, 11:31 GMT)

@Vikum72. I think at the very least Super 8 groups should have consisted of 2 group winners/2 runners-up. Even then, there is very little advantage to topping a group unless carry-over points are introduced.

Note that in the soccer WC, all matches from the first group stage onwards are knock-out, with all group winners playing a runner-up (usually an advantage).

Furthermore, there`s absolutely no need for a super-over except in the case of a knockout match (here semi-finals and finals). Far fairer if both teams take a point. OK ...rant over. May the best team win.

Posted by NP_NY on (October 3, 2012, 11:27 GMT)

Dhoni is right and Sambit is wrong. Sure Dhoni could have led the team better. But in a 20 over game on spinning tracks if the spinners can't grip the ball well the game is clearly lost. That's what happened against Aus. There is "reason" and then there is "excuse". Blaming the format and the tough group India would have been an excuse. But Dhoni's reasoning about the rain is correct. Sure, India should look within to see what they they can do better. But I don't think they are going to find a solution to spinners bowling with a wet ball....unless Sambit has some suggestions.

Posted by Leggie on (October 3, 2012, 11:24 GMT)

Very rarely disagree with Sambit's point of view, but on this one I do disagree with him. I didn't see the match nor the complete highlights.., but as I read the situation, it was almost a no-win for both SA and India as they walked into the match. So it is absolutely normal if the quality of this match was poor. Agree that there are several shortcomings with this Indian team, but then which team doesn't?? T20 is a fast game with little mistakes getting magnified and India's match against Australia completely messed up India's chances. And while in hindsight it can always be debated which bowlers must have been used when India started defending the total against Australia, the choices used were not bad either. Let's not read too much into T20 disasters. If India can focus on improving it's fundamentals, the rest (T20s or ODIs) will fall in place quickly.

Posted by jasonpete on (October 3, 2012, 11:24 GMT)

@kiwirocker, so when dhoni makes tactical blunder and bat first against australia ,you complain he is giving excuses but then you are giving excuses for hafeez blunder.As per you,Pakistan is a good bowling unit and why they couldn't defend 128 against India? First of all with this poor Indian bowling attack,how come Pakistan shot out for 128?Accept India played better against Pakistan not only in this World Cup but almost all the previous World Cup meeting as well.Regarding the ground size and other non related stuff,its equal for both the teams and DRS was there in 2011 World Cup,so nothing to complain about when your own team has butter fingers and drop catches .come out of this loser type attitude and appreciate any team who plays good cricket.Its high time you learn about sportsmanship.Support your team Pakistan but don't degrade other team with your flawed views.Thanks.

Posted by Morfi on (October 3, 2012, 11:24 GMT)

@Milind Kandlikar - actually make that "sore losers". Pak might have lost to india in a head to head but that is not a good comparison. India got a worse "spanking" rather, mauling at the hands of Australia - and that Australia lost vehemently to Pakistan... Sambit's point being that Aus just about did enough in their loss to make it through - India couldnt. So stop complaining,and eat some humble pie.

Posted by Abrars on (October 3, 2012, 11:23 GMT)

Raina the star the finisher the worker the fielder the best

Posted by Bollo on (October 3, 2012, 11:21 GMT)

@Vikum72 - yes, the fixtures/seedings were arranged well ahead of time, but left things wide open for unfairness/meaningless games.

Firstly, I`m almost certain that the seedings were based on performance in the 2010 edition (not rankings as you suggest). Thus England (2010 winners) were seeded No.1 in Group A, Australia (runners-up) were seeded No.1 in Group B, the losing semi-finalists (SL and Pakistan) were seeded No.1 in Groups C and D respectively. The 4 teams which didn`t progress from 2010 Super Eights (India, WI, SAf, NZ) were seeded No.2 in those groups, and the rest were unseeded.

Secondly, although it does let fans know where their team will be playing, basing Super 8 groups on the original seedings rather than performance in groups, left the chance that all teams which topped their groups might end up in the same Super 8 group (as happened), and that matches vs the big 2 in every group were essentially irrelevant.

Posted by WickyRoy.paklover on (October 3, 2012, 11:20 GMT)

My final say in dis wrldcup 4 india,"indian batng z way too ovr.ratd",baring kohli,pak batng was clas above d indians except 4 1 match.OUR BOWLRS WERE RUTHLES AGAINST SA,AUS BT WHAT HAd INDIAN BOWLRS to go about against them?i know Truth hurts bt fact of matr z that india's win ovr safas was a fluke thanks to M.MORKEL,N EVRYBDY KNOWS OUR TEAM HAS MENTAL BLOCK AGAINST IND,SO ITS PAK TEAM WHO LOST RATHR THAN INDIA WON,ALL IN ALL india's perfrmance loks more good on card than they actualy were.TWO BST TEAMS WENT THROUGH TO SEMIS,CASE CLOSD!

Posted by Morfi on (October 3, 2012, 11:19 GMT)

@ Milind Kandlikar - ever heard of bad losers mate??!

Posted by malepas on (October 3, 2012, 11:19 GMT)

4 of the best teams are in the semis and thats not co-incident,,Pakistan proved more then India that they are worthy semi-finalists,,as India only won last match by 1 run,,so this could have gone the other way,,Pak in contrast won their match with big margin even not knowing what the other match will bring,,so Pakistan are worthy winners,,India in fairness,,was riding thier luck,,they don'w have a all round team to win this,,,very heavy dependence on batting and if they had to bat first,,then they are a lost soul,,so they need to addres this.

Posted by   on (October 3, 2012, 11:14 GMT)

all those who think that pakistan will win should wake up from their dreams....if not srilanka "watson" will account for them this time..

Posted by Sinhabahu on (October 3, 2012, 11:08 GMT)

At the end of the day, the whole world can see who the true minnows are.

Posted by concerned_cricketer on (October 3, 2012, 11:04 GMT)

No, I don't agree at all with the article. If you watched the match it was quite obvious why the match against Aus finished the way it did. India took a gamble and went in with the spinners. The rain at the beginning of the Aussie innings changed everything because there is nothing at all a spinner can do when the outfield is totally wet. Anyone who has played cricket should know this. But this happens in cricket often. Weather can play a part. Teams that get the wrong side of weather just have to bear it. Which is what the Indian team is doing. Other than that I think the Indian team did well. Rohit Sharma found some form. Irfan Pathan showed us that he is back for good. Virat showed his golden run is still continuing. Zaheer is showing signs of getting back in form. The bowling unit as a whole performed very well. I would agree with Dhoni that India's perrformance was satisfactory.

Posted by   on (October 3, 2012, 11:02 GMT)

The following excerpts from the article stand true for all the Cricketing nations except Pakistan. They sharpen their skills the very day they play the match. Even the most die-hard Indian fanboy will at least admit the fact that Pakistani players are extremely talented with no IPL or any other major experience behind them. BCCI has tried their level best to destroy Cricket in Pakistan but alas, they have failed and shall continue to do so.

------------------

"India is the land of milk and honey for Twenty20 cricket. It is the laboratory where international players sharpen their Twenty20 skills. Yet India have failed to reach the final stages of the last three World Twenty20s. Tough questions and tough decisions can't wait forever"

Posted by   on (October 3, 2012, 10:49 GMT)

O God SA you should have just got those last 2 runs! You see now you gave them excuses to brag about... the author is very right! the better teams made it to the semi final not because of "luck" alone... this is just a childish behavior oh it rained so our bowlers couldn't grip the bowl very well against AUS... Yes India fought hard and played good cricket! but overall they weren't as good as PAK or AUS otherwise their net run rate would have been higher! Just accept it! welcome your team home with pride as they won 4 out 5 not bad at all and praise the teams that qualified because they were better rather than complaining...

Posted by   on (October 3, 2012, 10:37 GMT)

4 ouf o5? So did Pakistan. How have they not done the hard work?

Posted by   on (October 3, 2012, 10:30 GMT)

Well, India needs to bring young blood in to make good in major events. So, called big hitters are not fit for t20's. They needs to be rested.

Bad luck to India and Good luck to Pakistan for semis.

Posted by   on (October 3, 2012, 10:29 GMT)

Give it a rest, Sambit. They had one bad day, or perhaps Warner had a good one and that sealed India's fate. The claim that the two 'best' teams went through is also a tall one. Yes the Aussies stood out, but it is hard to choose between India and Pak when in a face-to-face Pak got a proper spanking. There were three well matched teams in this group and India got the short end of the stick.

Posted by   on (October 3, 2012, 10:20 GMT)

@Srivathan I fully agree with you.

Posted by indianpunter on (October 3, 2012, 10:17 GMT)

No prize for being mediocre, i meant.

Posted by Shouldas-Wouldas-Couldas on (October 3, 2012, 10:14 GMT)

Mr.Bal - crux of the matter is all 8 top sides are capable of winning games. Actually there is not much between the sides presently - they even out eventually ( taking all departments into consideration ). Both S.A. and IND have talented players. T20 Cricket is played at extremely hectic pace - things happen/change quickly and along with skill, the players need to adjust accordingly. The think tanks have important roles behind the scenes e.g. assessing conditions, picking best playing IX, alternating batting order/bowling changes etc etc. IMO, think tanks are responsible for their exit ( In S.A. case nothing to do with "CHOKERS" tag ). Indian think tanks lacked "innovation" to counter/cover their "weak" bowling resources. Indian think tanks ( & Dhoni ) "THREW THE TOWEL" very early ( they were baffled/rattled after that dazzling performance from HAFEEZ & Co. against AUS). Worst part, Dhoni did not even "TRY" to GO FOR THE KILL ! Lacks killer instincts. Ind Fans deserve better !!

Posted by Lankanforever on (October 3, 2012, 10:04 GMT)

I think all IPL and CL BPL SLPL Big Bash etc are making cricket simmilar to soccer where only WC's are the only thing that brings the first XI together and avoid any international tournemant in club season and it is not good for cricket. Hopefully this ends soon and we are back to where international cricket is not stopped to allow these club matches.

Posted by sharidas on (October 3, 2012, 9:57 GMT)

When a team goes to play, it must be for a win. The points and other calculations have to come in due to the limited time at hand to finish a competition. So many a situation arise, which could create problems to a team. Say. For eg. Would Australia have batted second after winning the toss in their game against Pakistan, had they had to go for a win ? Once a team knows what is required to go through, then they can choose to play the game according to that plan. A tournament like this would be more interesting if every team had to go for a win in every match. Unfortunately that can happen only in a knock-out. It would be a good idea if such a tournament comes up, so that we can watch the best of every team.

Posted by correctcall on (October 3, 2012, 9:51 GMT)

@ Ankur Jane do you think it is fair that the next two Twenty20 World Cups will be held in Bagladesh then India? That will be 4 in a row on slow low pitches that lack pace. How can this be a true test of teams' abilities to adapt their skills to varying conditions.?This lack of desire at the BCCI to develop SOME fast bouncy pitches stunts India ability to nurture players who can bowl fast and bat if the ball rises above their waist. That is one of the issues that I would expect Sambit Bal to address if he does a follow up to this article.

Posted by   on (October 3, 2012, 9:47 GMT)

I think India's batting is over rated. They were badly defeated by Australia and they could not go par 160.

Posted by Master_Mihil on (October 3, 2012, 9:44 GMT)

Exiting tourney after winning 4 out of 5 is not acceptable?? Take it on windies. But they posted nearly 200 and win was awarded by D/L. Aussies attacked exactly the same against Indian bowlers, but India just scored 140. I know it's hard to stomach. But India was not good enough. Good!! But not enough !!

Posted by Observer123 on (October 3, 2012, 9:43 GMT)

@counterstrike1.6 , I think you are not basing your views based on reality and statistics. Just throwing some opinions based on your emotions. According to You , Pak will be thrased by SL fast bowlers as if they never faced Malinga before and that shows your Knowledge about the game. In fact more than Malinga, Kula had troubled Pak more often and in spin, Herath troubled them more who is not in the squad. Pak had beaten SL more often in World cup matches and all their players recently played in SL t20 tournament.You cant rule out Pak and only people with absent mind will write them off. Its a 50-50 chance for both teams and whoever turnsout with more aggressive attitude will thrive in the semi final.

Posted by AunShak on (October 3, 2012, 9:39 GMT)

i dont find this as a satisfactory performance ... dont get me wrong being a pakistani and a die hard supporter of pakistani cricket i do believe pakistan dont have the best team for this tournament as they have a lot of hit and miss players .. but for india it is not an excuse for many reasons ... first they literally train people for t20 matches in their own backyard ... they have the best outfit and resources to train for any environment ... and they have more match winners in their team then all the other teas combined ... but why they dont look like a single unit on the ground is beyond me .... Dhoni looked out of place and all his decsions seemed like impressing the media or outside fraternities rather than making any impact on the matches they played ... the only person to give it all was Kohli and i am really sorry to see such a talent fall into tears in the middle of match ... iremember ghambir speech from ipl captains dont make good teams ... good teams make good captains

Posted by Des_65 on (October 3, 2012, 9:35 GMT)

Nothing wrong. Winning 4 out of 5 matches is good. Hard luck! Fielding first would have been better for Team India.

Posted by jasonpete on (October 3, 2012, 9:30 GMT)

@ valavan, palekelle is a quick strip? Lol,it was a batting paradise where every team made minimum 175 score.Atleast broad knows that wicket is a batting paradise.If England can't win there by chasing or batting first ,then they will never win in premedasa stadium.Remember 80 allout ?It was their only luck that they played all in flat palekelle pitch.@ mahanama, ,malinga did gave excuses for not taking Indian wicket by blaming on dew,didn't he? Srilanka only won the toss and batted first in word cup final and still they gave excuses.please publish.

Posted by musa441 on (October 3, 2012, 9:25 GMT)

@counter strike 1.6 wake up dude ur dream is over now wake up and come back to earth!!

Posted by Vikum72 on (October 3, 2012, 9:24 GMT)

@icfa: Your ignorance baffles me. Mate, the fixtures were published long before the tournament even started. Do you thing some astrologer told ICC which teams will lead their respective groups and which will come second? Its simply chance that things worked out that way. The super 8 groups were arranged as per then T20 rankings of the teams. Who's fault is it that some teams in the group 2 lost to 9th ranked team in T20s - Australia?

Posted by kingoflions on (October 3, 2012, 9:22 GMT)

Does it really matter if the groups are unfair? No team is playing only for a place in the semi final, rather to win the whole tournament. At the end of the day, the best two teams will play in final, even if the semi-finalists themselves are questionable.

Posted by KiwiRocker- on (October 3, 2012, 9:18 GMT)

Dhoni's attitude has been a huge disappointment. Dhoni keeps blaming rain for loss against Australia. Rain also started when India was batting. Dhoni needs to stop making excuses. Indian bowling is one of the worse and it is well proven. Indian only won against Pakistan because of tactical blunder by Hafeez to bat first. India won world cup in 2011 because of 65M grounds, dodgy DRS decisions and special bowls, however Dhoni and his team has now been found out. What a joke that house of IPL has not even reached in semis in last three editions. Indian batting is one man army revolving around Kohli.Sehwag was dropped and brought back without any rationale. Indian selectors and Indian captain has to take a blame for this shameful exit. Difference between Duncan and Watmore is obvious! One fronts up and Pakistani players showed amazing character against Australia while the other is hiding behind while Dhoni is making lame excuses! Get rid of Sehwag, Gambhir, Pathan, Zaheer, Harbhjan!

Posted by S.Seshachalam on (October 3, 2012, 9:15 GMT)

Whatever numerous reasons may be there for the loss, the format and points system was same for all the teams. There should be no excuses after the result. But the point is Indian team was not at all consistent in this tournament and they were good only in patches. They definitely did not deserve a semi final berth. It is high time to execute massive changes and build separate teams for test, ODI and T-20. Sack all the big stars and bring in high performing youngsters. India can definitely become no. 1 in all formats of the game if proper accountability on performance is followed. When will the BCCI change for the better?!!!

Posted by madjag on (October 3, 2012, 9:04 GMT)

@nav84.. "showed Pakistan where they belong" yea.. in the semi finals and not on an early exit like India.. I was certain that some Indian fans were gonna bad mouth Pakistan's performance as usual so here's my rebuttal: Say all you want, we qualified for the Semis, and you did not. Barring the WC2011, Pakisan has performed more consistently in all three formats than India. We clean swept the #1 test side, have made it to the final four of every T20 WC ever. (no one else has done that) and have been improving in ODI. ohh and we have done it without our premium fast bowlers (Amir and Asif) yes its their own fault, I agree, but they were good bowlers for us nonetheless. And we have done it without playing a single game at home for the past three years or so. Give credit to where its due, and you shall receive it too.

Posted by arunrg on (October 3, 2012, 9:04 GMT)

WC T20 does not mean much for Dhoni & co. In many ways, they are happy with the early exit because it gives them ample time to rest and recover for the more lucrative Champions League next month.

Posted by   on (October 3, 2012, 8:57 GMT)

ICC should plan the tournaments in a better manner. Wonder if they use their minds at all while planning a big tournament like WC. Too many flaws like: 1. Same pitch used for 2 matches in a single day 2. Event organized in SL even after knowing that this is a rainy season and matches could be washed out. Luckily we just had few truncated games and no washout 3. Grouping of the Teams is not even. 1 Group had all the heavy weights and 2nd Group had all normal Team. 4. More matches should be played to give each Team a fair chance. Team getting out of the competition just by losing only 1 Match is not acceptable.

Any tournament should be played with good no of matches so that every Team should get a chance to bounce back. Its really surprising when in an event like IPL every Team is playing approx 15 Matches and in WC only 5. This is really not acceptable. ICC really need to think on this.

Posted by correctcall on (October 3, 2012, 8:47 GMT)

Sambit as a follow up to this article it would be interesting to Cricinfo readers for you to pose the " tough questions and tough decisions " that you think Mr Srinivasan has to make. May I suggest that accepting DRS would be a major start on the way to redemption .

Posted by Porky_PigTheToon on (October 3, 2012, 8:46 GMT)

Pak will be knocked out by SL. Pak batsmen can't play fast bowlers and that too someone like Malinga. OMG ! I can see Pak batsmen literally sweating. only Umar Akmal and Jamshed are in-form, rest of them are in horrible. And against Aus Jamshed's catch was dropped when he was on ZERO. Don't expect this from SL. Kula will get him. Ajmal might still be the mystery for Aus, Eng and SA batsmen but against quality batsmen like that of Ind and SL who play spin really well, he looks simply ineffective. Haffez, Raza, Afridi - That's all Pak have for their bowling. GUl is in form of his life but unfortunately with BAT not BALL. Wow ! Party time for SL batsmen ... Pak will be knocked out by SL. Mark my words. Final would be between SL and WI. Aus will be thrashed too. I can sense a BIG BIG knock by Gayle.

Posted by loks07 on (October 3, 2012, 8:45 GMT)

That's exactly what I didn't want to hear in so many comments. I was really wondering about Dhoni's baffling tactics yesterday that why is he defending 152 and not 121. Now I got the answer, how smart he is. After giving up the semifinal hopes too early, he has very smartly put in everyone's mind that India were against luck and they lost out even after winning 4 out of 5 games. What a defensive mindset!

Posted by Srivathan on (October 3, 2012, 8:38 GMT)

Admittedly India was inconsistent, scratchy, confused, and poorly led, on all the Off days, and that Includes matches against all matches, but I ask you one thing, tell me one team and one leader, who were not like this, who were perfect. Just because they won and progressed doesn't mean that all the other teams are perfect. All teams have had their days and they had better talents is agreeable. But given the resources available, India is the only team in the tournament which fought with a Big-heart and had India qualified and went on to win the cup, I'm pretty sure that you guys would have written that as an article and got applauded. It is easy to be a critic and slam people on their faces, but it is not a worthy review if you choose to ignore obvious reasons. Going by your words this feels like India should have practised playing cricket in another planet and in a different standard to qualify, but other teams can play humanly cricket. How poor criticism....

Posted by kingcobra85 on (October 3, 2012, 8:31 GMT)

SA is not a minnow to lose at a 32 run margin like Australia

Posted by Cricketer2010 on (October 3, 2012, 8:27 GMT)

@CPT Meanster it looks as if you did not watch the tournament, You mentioned that only Srilanka and Austrailia were not scratchy. Let me remind you that Srilankans and Austrailia won 4 matches out of five same like Pakistan and Westindies. Pakistan have some mental problem while playing against India otherwise they were a better team. Australians are riding on Watson, and Westindies on Gayle, like India on virat Kohli (best among all), Newzwland on Brendon Mcclum, only Pakistan and Srilankans have complete balanced teams These are the two teams who deserved to see each other in finals, unfortunately they will face each other in semis

Posted by Alexk400 on (October 3, 2012, 8:24 GMT)

T20 is like lottery. India lost because we batted badly not thinking ahead run rate issues. Duncan fletcher is useless. We were so sure if we beat SA we can get Semifinal before the day even started. Once india know the score they had to score 180odd any chance , only sehwag and raina some extend dhoni try to up the score. Why no one told rohit to bat faster? Its impossible to beat SA 120 with indian bowlers. Even india won the game mainly due to SA choking not because of indian bowlers. Pakistan choked against india for reasons unknown but it was not india's great bowling that got pakistan. Pakistan batsman did not play against india because some how dhoni coolness scared them. India have no one else to blame except the coach and dhoni for boneheaded decision against australia. Indian also lacked a go to bowler when opposition attacks. Showers is an excuse. if there is one person to be blamed for india not making Semifinal , it was duncan fletcher.

Posted by Valavan on (October 3, 2012, 8:20 GMT)

@CptMeanster, winning 4 out of 5 matches means that India superior to other teams. Pakistan won 4 out of 5, so you mean they dont deserve better, This format is just as it is said and rules defined, As bal said, India everytime knew what exactly to do than Pakistan, just Pakistan nailed it yesterday making it tougher, Well you all guys prayed for Aussie win for making it easier for you, but Pakistan made it and ye, if you know exactly what you need, what made you score only 150 but not 180. India played the whole tournament in a condition suitable for them, dry Premadasa surface, blaming rain is just a childish excuse, all the coulds and woulds wont make it now. I would say India would have got a hammering if they played quick pallakelle strip, you see there is a would in my statement, end of the day, you need a little luck with efforts, so appreciate the other teams instead. cricinfo please publish.

Posted by   on (October 3, 2012, 8:15 GMT)

In my opinion it was Pakistan winning by a large margin that put India under pressure and you cant take credit away for that from them but it was certainly India batting dependance on Virat kohli that let them down. If Kohli scored more runs then that total could easily have been 170+.

Posted by birdz_eye on (October 3, 2012, 8:14 GMT)

@ abhijeet1in: Wow you hit the nail, i used to think that IPL was an expensive but bold decision by Indian think tank to develop players for International arena but some how the investment is not justifying the results they are having at the moment & Pakistan in contrast after being denied to play at IPL & to play at home yet have come back to force their way into ODI & T20 knock outs even gone up to clean sweep the no.1 Test playing nation. Conclusively India are satisfied with short term joys they get here & there (WC 2011 is exception as they played at home) but really don't see good signs for next world cup in Australia for them.

Posted by Praks on (October 3, 2012, 8:13 GMT)

Dhoni's captaincy and tactics were poor in both the SA match and the Aus match.

In the Aus match, there was a clear forecast for rain in the late evening, just check Cricinfo's preview and you will know. In spite of that and the fact that India went in with 3 spinners Dhoni won the toss and elected to bat. His poor decision led to the team's downfall and it is silly to blame the rain and bad luck.

Sambit has already outlined the poor decisions made in the SA match. The biggest blunders in my opinion were going in with just one spinner and then not bowling him, your match-winner, until the 10th over while defending a paltry 121. Simply defies logic.

It is time for the selectors to drop Sehwag, Dhoni and Zaheer from the T20 format and bring in youngsters. Make Kohli the T20 captain and groom him for the other formats as well. That will send out a clear message to all the "seniors" who are resting on past laurels.

Posted by   on (October 3, 2012, 8:09 GMT)

I would not talk about the past editions of WT20 but for this one, I would not blame Team India too much for not qualifying for Semis. On the last day, Aus secured their semis birth in the last over of the match, Pak's future was still hanging on India's game. So how much better were these 2 teams than India? I agree both Aus and Pak played well but India's case came down to mathematical equation which cannot be predicted right at the start. Had India qualified, would you be saying the same thing about Pak as well ? Dhoni may have committed some mistakes but were rest of the skippers perfect? Hafeez's captaincy against India was probably worst by any captain in the tournament, so how can India's ouster be put on Dhoni's captaincy completely ? All the bad things added up to put India out , thats the fact. Rest of the teams were lucky their mistakes didnt turn out to be costly. In this tournament best does not win rather worst gets eliminated, and it could be by a decimal point.

Posted by arvinth_h on (October 3, 2012, 8:06 GMT)

Before/During/After the T20 world cup, everyone feels that india's bowling is its week link. But thats not the case. 4 out of the 5 games(india won all of them), india dismissed their opponents(opponents were all out). No other team has done this. Its not about luck any more. Virat is india's batsman at this moment, but he doesn't have the X-factor at 1 down. Every time Chennai super kings post a big score when Raine walks in at 1 down. India have to shuffle their batting order to suit the format and not the match alone. Lot to think by Dhoni on field. It is still a very good show by team India. Well done team.

Posted by Cluedin on (October 3, 2012, 8:01 GMT)

It's good that India exited the tournament at the time it did. If they have found this performance satisfactory, then they did not deserve a place in the semi-final. There is a saying ' If you think you can't, you never will'. I hope that atleast now, Rohit Sharma will vacate the place he has been holding on to. I think he has been given enough chances in all forms of the game and has proved inconsistent. It is time others are given atleast half the opportunities to prove themselves.

Posted by nav84 on (October 3, 2012, 7:59 GMT)

Oh my god, so much analysis of pajama cricket :O T20 is just for entertainment and we get loads of it from IPL. on international level, it is immaterial. we went to world T20, showed pakistan where they belong when it comes to playing against us and came back. that is all that matters. lets now concentrate on england test series. seems like KP will be coming. awesome!!

Posted by smjr on (October 3, 2012, 7:58 GMT)

I have define below each team characteristics in single sentence with regard to ICC tournaments:

Australia--- Mentally strong but take pressure in high profile match India--- Highly Focus & consistent but lack killer instinct South Africa --- Chokers but lot of skill and talent Pakistan--- The most un-predictable team but rely on individual brilliance England--- Stereo typed conservative planning but very disciplined Sri Lanka--- Lot of talent and skill but lack big match temperament W.I--- bit and pieces team, lack confidence but individually good N.Z--- Lack hunger to win but bring drama and suspense.

Posted by   on (October 3, 2012, 7:56 GMT)

this was not a very balanced side. Players like Rohit sharma and piyush chawla r not in a very good form inspite of that the selectors took the risk of picking them up and good players like Ambati rayudu, Pragyan ojha, S.Badrinath, V.kumar were left out...

Posted by   on (October 3, 2012, 7:48 GMT)

U deserve this in big time. Thanks a lot South Africa

Posted by indianpunter on (October 3, 2012, 7:48 GMT)

After the 8-0 debacle in tests, no tough questions were asked of anyone and i am not holding my breath here either. Press the panic button now !! What is Sehwag and Gambhir doing in the team?. Sharma can realise his immense potential elsewhere. He cannot continue to be the blue eyed boy anymore. Zaheer has to stop playing T-20, preserve him for tests alone. Why cant we have different teams for different formats? A sulking, unfit sehwag is the most ungainly sight i have seen in recent times. Indian fans who comment here need to understand that there is no price for mediocrity. Participation is not sufficient !! we should be there to win.

Posted by Harshmeswanirafanadal on (October 3, 2012, 7:43 GMT)

Every1 who wants only youngsters in their team, look at eng, nz. They were filled with youngsters but were knocked out. And i can bet all my money that if these youngsters do badly then all of you will say bring back the oldies. After all we won as many games as pak,aus,sl

Posted by Chittappi on (October 3, 2012, 7:37 GMT)

Leave the cricket team alone. You're asking too much off them. You're all beating them up because you don't have any other sport or athlete to beat up. Sport is not mechanical. Selection and on-field 'decisions' can not always come out right. You win some, you lose some.

Posted by Mahaanama on (October 3, 2012, 7:34 GMT)

So many talks about the wet ball. Guys don't you remember how it was difficult for SL bowlers to bowl in the second half of the match in the WC finals 2011 after dew came? So the ball was terribly wet and probably after first 10 overs SL bowlers were not able to spin or york the ball properly because of that. If you could watch the 2nd half of the match again you'll see the effort SL players making to keep the ball dry. But you guys never talked about the wet ball after winning the final. When it comes to India's turn you always blame the wet ball only?

Posted by crick_sucks on (October 3, 2012, 7:30 GMT)

To me the fixtures were all wrong. It is an ill planned tournament. How can u have all the teams that finished at the top of their groups in one basket and all the other teams which finished second in their groups in another basket. It is frustarting to see Ind go out and WI go through. The only team that can be termed unlucky should be NZ. Imagine losing 2 matches lost in super over and both of them in super-8. That is tough luck.

Posted by vinay24 on (October 3, 2012, 7:30 GMT)

As I have said in my last post, luck deserted the Indian team this world cup, but in coming world cups if india fail to find two genuinely quick fast bowlers with variations up their sleeve,and a couple of genuine allrounders like perera and Matthews of srilanka, india will always loose in t20 worldcups… India should always pick players on the merits of form. Gambhir and sehwag were struggling, it was worth to include rahane or tiwary in the team, but dhoni went for big names like sehwag and gambhir… IPL has become a training school for international players but our indian players never go to Australia, southafrica and England and hone their skills bcoz of BCCI… If in future also BCCI not allows Indian players to participate outside india then people be ready, india never crosses super eights in coming t20 world cups… We will be satisfied with india in super eights, ipl and champions league…..

Posted by crick_sucks on (October 3, 2012, 7:27 GMT)

how can u equate IND with SA. IND won 2/3 games like the other 2 teams that qualified from the same group and SA lost all 3. I feel that SA are a overrated team by media and fans. They at best are a well discplined unit making very few mistakes to win games. And this approach serves well in bilateral series. But in a multi team tournament especially a WC teams need to constantly rediscover themselves and up the ante at each level. Players with skills should come to the fore and carry the team forward. For SA this never happens. They are at top gear from the start and dont have another level to elevate themselves when the rest of the teams take their game to the next level. These are the teams that win big mathces. So to constantly say that SA is a extraordinary team and they suffered from bad luck or choked is all wrong. It can happens once/twice but every time since their comeback is not acceptable. It is time SA accept their limitations and re-evaluate themselves.

Posted by   on (October 3, 2012, 7:25 GMT)

This article is criticizing India just for the sake of it. Yes they had a bad game, but didnt they bounce back from it, doesnt it show the character of the team. It is is nobody's hands to make your day as good as they want. Otherwise a team would never loose. There were bad decisions made but no need to depict the team as a bunch of losers.

Posted by   on (October 3, 2012, 7:20 GMT)

Pak desrve to win the WC.India played poorly. inspite of winning by a bigger margin, they won by1run only....indian fans atleast accept the fact that pak was overall much better than india in the grp stage.

Posted by ADI_GUNGALIYA_FANTASY on (October 3, 2012, 7:16 GMT)

With India Exit, SL may emerge as winner as no more competion remain. Pak,Aus,WI Struggle with Bat after early wickets. May SL v/s WI Final.

Posted by crindo77 on (October 3, 2012, 7:14 GMT)

Its t20 cricket. Get some perspective. I was impressed with Kohli, Rohit Sharma showed he is getting back on track, Pathan is back, and he has confidence. But India's openers need to go. I feel the coming winter series against the English will see the backs of Gambhir and Sehwag. Irrespective of what they may have acheived or are capable of, they are adding to the liabilities of this team. As for Adnan Hasan Syed, yeah, lot of food for thought. India thrashing Pakistan every single time in every WC; I'll take that.

Posted by   on (October 3, 2012, 7:12 GMT)

Yuvraj singh bowled better than any other so called best bowlers,economy and wickets more than even the best spinners sahid ajmal and grahme swann .People who call india'a bowling as weak plz go to the icc website ,u will find 2 indian bowlers feature among top 5 bowlers of the icct20 world cup so far when all the teams played same amount of matches.

Posted by   on (October 3, 2012, 7:12 GMT)

The real fact india please face it you dont have bowlers, those 3-4 bowlers you have they had a great desire to become good batsman. So until you teach you bowlers to remain bowlers not become allrounder or batsman like irfan pathan then you can have some bowling. Its the bowling that ruin india. it look like a club bowling.

dhoni problem is he dont know who is his main bowler,who is part timer and who is allrounder. need a complete overhaul of bowling. fire all bowlers and bring new ones you may lose some matches but will get alteast good bowling

Posted by   on (October 3, 2012, 7:10 GMT)

Not qualifying for semi-Finals by India was due to miscalculations and they were over joyed in the match against Pakistan. had India own the match against Pakistan inside 16th over, the run rate would have told a different story. Doing so, India could target for 170+ and a win with 15 runs against SA. Wining in 18th overs against Pakistan, India targeted for 180+ as that only could fetch a with a 31 runs against SA, which was tough. targeting for 180+ runs, India lost Gauti, Veeru and Virat soon. If the target were 166~170 and the win with 15 runs, then the story would have been different.

Posted by Karunk on (October 3, 2012, 7:08 GMT)

With this bowling attack, India did not deserve to be in semi finals and it is good they are out. And except in very few instances, India's batting heroes - have never performed in crunch when it is required. Finally, they have learnt to survive short rising ball by ducking or leaving. But in T20, being poor hookers/pullers, they always get stuck and fail to score against short rising balls. They could not pass 150 against Australia and just touched 150 against SA. Only way to win in T20 worldcup matches is India has to discover one or two freak bowlers (Ajmal, Hogg, Narine, Tanvir, Mendia, Dhananjay...) who can deceive the batsman with thier turn and action. Indian fast bowlers are slow and spinners are very predictive, in their length. Raza Hasan was excellent yesterday with his clean action and even Watson and Warner struggled to score against him. Hope he continues to perform.

Posted by   on (October 3, 2012, 7:05 GMT)

I dont think its luck matter its matter of nerve i dont know india win last game is good for them or bad becasuse may be they lose so they can make some postive changes india was not looking professional on field and not looking a good combination yuwraj was not fit zaheer was too old irfan pethan just came from long strugle harbjan was on chance rohit was heavy bag only kholi and raina and ashwin were on mark so u need to make a 8-9 super star at thier peak to get through

Posted by   on (October 3, 2012, 6:55 GMT)

It is too harsh to say India deserved to go out. As Dhoni said, it must have been the wet ball which caused problem against the Aussies. Ashwin's figures int hat match and the other two matches are enough proof. Also, India played 3 games, won one convincingly, won one in the last over, lost one badly. Pakistan also did the same and are in semis. While you guys praise Pakistan(Nevertheless, wonderful effort that was), would they have put in the same performance if they played second match and they knew that they have to beat aussies by 30 odd runs?Unlike the last two editions it was not an embarassing performance, India were better than SAF and equal to PAk but the nature of the draw didn't allow them to go higher. Like Dhoni, as an Indian cricket fan I am quite satisfied with the performance.

Posted by Naresh28 on (October 3, 2012, 6:48 GMT)

Indian selectors need to make wholesome CHANGES to Indian team in all formats. We need to get rid of GAMBHIR/SHEWAG as openers. We need new YOUNG BOWLERS and batsman are there to replace some of the OLDER players. These two areas of our game is making team India lose. The whole tournament and ZAKS takes wickets in our last game???? Also I was one who believed that ROHIT was our star player but he has failed - the experiment should stop there. We have players like VIJAY, DHAWAN,RAHANE, MUKUND, CHAND - PUJARA needs to be brought into other formats as well. Good Luck and best wishes to the teams who make the final. May the best team win

Posted by   on (October 3, 2012, 6:41 GMT)

well that a great article... i m totally agree that India & S.A both have to blame themselves... both not perform when its matter & their capt. take wrong decision at crusial time..... & their luck also not favour them as well. Saying that India won 4 out of their 5 & still they got out..... the other two Semifinalist Aus. & Pak. they also won 4 out of their 5 matches. So hard luck for them & Best of luck for Aus. & Pak. for the Semifinal.... & Congratulation for Pakistan for Playing Semifinal for the 4th time... Pakistan Inshallah win.

Posted by vinay24 on (October 3, 2012, 6:37 GMT)

Honestly speaking there is no need for people to get dissapointed.... Dhoni did evrything right in this tournament, when people demanded for three spinners after the match against england he went with 3 spinners against australia even cricketing greats like ganguly, kapil, gavaskar appreciated the move. But in the australia match luck ran out of dhoni.. Pitch was turning square while india was batting, at the end of indian innings rain drizzled and during australia innings also for first few overs it rained. Then indian spinners with wet ball lost the plot, and also australia was damn lucky when zaheer's lbw was turned down against warner and watson, had that been given out australia were 47/2.. To beat australia one needs more luck..... Then when entire country roared to bring sehwag back dhoni brought sehwag back.. In south africa match india needed to bat 1st just to ensure that they can chase the target in 16 overs, sadly dhoni lost the toss.... Luck wasn't with the indian team..

Posted by Bota on (October 3, 2012, 6:15 GMT)

Everyone has seen how poor Indian team has performed in this tournament. A win means nothing if it isnt bringing team forward! Indea needed a "victory" depite just a ine run "narrow win". But in the end Indea should feel very lucky that they atleast won to have this "nice" excuse. Sambit many congratulations for creating such a worthy article. These analysis will help indeas fans to understand that their team is rightly out and just by luck!

Posted by prats_bleedingblue on (October 3, 2012, 6:13 GMT)

Well i dont agree with Sambit Here.....yes we lost to australia in bad manner due, and to completely blame the wet ball is not justified.. but it is totally also not unjustified on dhonis part that wet ball had an impact..it was clearly visible the spinners were having problems holding it and the slippery nature of outfield also further justified it...i wont say it was bad luck of india not to reach semis or disaster.it was simply that their was too much dependency on the result of other match..which went horribly against us..we played superbly against england, choked SA and mauled pakistan, a bad game ruined it for us...i have always been the first to criticise my team when it plays badly and have no qualms about it but this time i stand by them , they played superbly one bad day doesnt make them a bad team...they are a force in world cricket and will be in future to come! cheers india!

Posted by funkycrispy on (October 3, 2012, 6:09 GMT)

India deninitley doesn't need to blame themselves, they can keep their heads high with their performance in this WC. How easy to put one's opinions forward in hidsight, one has to be on field to understand things that were going throuhg Dhoni's mind. Dhoni did what needs to be done to win the match against SA, imagine the level of criticism that might have been probably thrown at him if they had lost yesterday by so called cricket experts, who is calling 4 wins out of 5 as a "SCRATCHY" performance. In my opinion, its pure bad luck going by the way it rained during match against Australia. If it had not rained, it wud have been a lot closer match which would have favoured India's net run rate today and would have thrown out Pakistan instead...

Posted by joseyesu on (October 3, 2012, 6:05 GMT)

1) Gambir and Sehwag a big flop.2) Losing to Aus is ok, but with the kind of losing.3) Not able to get the score 130 against in less than 15 overs.4) After getting Amla, Kallis, Devillers in less than 50 runs, india did not have the enough skill to get the SA less than 100...

Posted by sherishahmir on (October 3, 2012, 6:04 GMT)

Sorry to feel about India and SA, specially about India that even winning two matches in S8 they could nt make to semis. Been Pakistani still stunned about our team performance against India why our team is so flat in world cup matches though overall we r better over India. India should also try their young talent in future as they must have talented players who r waiting for their turn, they followed Aus to bring young talented players. Also, agreed we r also very much inconsistent in the tournament though we also lost a single game against our arch rival which needs urgent care. South Africa were probably the favorite of the tournament, but the way they lost in S8 was v surprised.

Posted by fearless69 on (October 3, 2012, 6:02 GMT)

Yes luck didn't favor indian team.. Tougher teams met eachother in group 1 of super 8's.. Rain was the main reason india lost so badly against aussies, you can't deny it. And dhoni as well made few errors on and of the field.. Sometimes selection wasn't right and sometimes his tactics on the field.. 4 wins out of 5 says it all.. Dhoni should've opted to bowl first against aussies knowing that rain was possible.. But the fact remains, India were really unlucky.. .... Sehwag & gambhir should be left out from T20.. Age has caught their performance.. Shikhar Dhawan & Ajinakya Rahane deserves place in T20 team.. India didn't even try Manoj Tiwary who can spin da ball and is a very good T20 batsman.. Hard Luck india.. We are with you.. I think SL & WI will go through to final..

Posted by   on (October 3, 2012, 6:01 GMT)

The simple fact that cannot be ignored: Pakistan is the only team to reach the semi finals of all 4 ICC T20 tournaments Pakistan is the only team whose players ARE not playing the IPL for the past 4 seasons! Food for thought anyone?

Posted by   on (October 3, 2012, 5:54 GMT)

@jithoosin. No doubt india won 2 games but SAF had nothing to lose as far as this tournament was concerned. So I think the above post mortem is justified Dhoni never looked like defending 122 just as Hafeez was bounteous to Kangaroos and let them attain 112.

Posted by munibkhan on (October 3, 2012, 5:41 GMT)

A bit harsh on MSD, Sambit. As a Pakistani and a cricket fan I really do believe that MSD is the best cricketing brain in the Indian team. The Indian team is awesome, but they succumbed to pressure yesterday much in the same manner as Pakistan buckled under pressure against India. They viewed the game incorrectly - it had to be played as a 15-over game where they had to bowl the opposition out under a set target. You have to allow for mistakes every now and then. In hidsight, both Pak and Aus will now say that their "bad-day-out" didnt cost them a place in the semis, whereas India's did.

Posted by ABLcric on (October 3, 2012, 5:36 GMT)

It was beyond my understanding, why didn't Dhoni attack SA batsmen. He was busy setting field on the boundary line to avoid losing the match. I am a Pakistani fan and have great respect for Dhoni's qualities as batsmen and great leader. But, i seriously feel that he faltered seriously last night. His spinners were bowling well. He should have tried getting SA all out before 121. It was possible. Pakistan did exactly earlier in the morning to Australia (much stronger side). More close in fielders would have made the differences. Anyway, sorry to see India walking out of Super 8 third time and Pakistan playing semis for the fourth consecutive time.

Posted by   on (October 3, 2012, 5:35 GMT)

Over the last fifty years of cricket in Sub Continent, records show that Pakistan has a better winning rate despite lacking in quality batting resources. Main reason has been that Pakistanis have been mostly on the attacking side of the game. When Dhoni came is as a captain he was very successful because he was brave enough to take the attack to the oppositions. Moreover if one sees Pakistanis are not afraid to throw in raw talent on the big stage. 2009 WC introduced M. Aamir, 2012 WC showed hassan raza etc. But the problem with Indian management is that they do not want to take a chance and are conservative in putting their talent into pressure situations.In a way they are killing the confidence of their own youngsters. Youngster are always the X-factor of the game as they want to prove themselves to the world. India needs to consider that now or it will soon be too late

Posted by zan_69 on (October 3, 2012, 5:33 GMT)

the reason why india lost - team is not balanced , only depended in one batsman thats kolhi , Bowlers are not up to the international level , other thing is POOR CAPTAINCY BY MS DHONI

Posted by   on (October 3, 2012, 5:31 GMT)

I think we are being too harsh. India won 4 out of the 5 games. Except that the openers did not fire, and even with a below par bowling line up, the team has performed well given the circumstances. One off day and the team fell on NRR. It is ok. T20 World cup is not the end of the world. I want India to beat Aus and Eng comprehensively in the tests and odi series to follow at home. That is far more important than this hit and forget format

Posted by   on (October 3, 2012, 5:28 GMT)

A great article , the last para sum up the status of T20 in India" India is the land of milk and honey for Twenty20 cricket. It is the laboratory where international players sharpen their Twenty20 skills. Yet India have failed to reach the final stages of the last three World Twenty20s. Tough questions and tough decisions can't wait forever" on the other hand in spite of having all the issues back home and no international cricket... TEAM PAKISTAN did wonders.... troubles can only make you strong and thats true for Pakistan.. get a lesson

Posted by   on (October 3, 2012, 5:28 GMT)

A very well written article!!I really wonder why Dhoni is saying that one rain affected day cost us the whole tournament. OK against australia the odds were not in the favour but even if you lose, it should never have been the way they lost to Aussies. If they are making excuses then why not SA??SA was in a winning position against PaK untill they run into Umer Gul and they lost by a single run to india. They could have argued that we were unlucky and with a little luck could have qualified for the semis. The fact is one has to be always on toes in T20s..it such an intense format of the game that even if you lose, never lose wth a big margin. The bottom line is the most deserving teams, Pak and Aus qualified for the semis.

Posted by cnksnk on (October 3, 2012, 5:16 GMT)

Samit, It is all very well to keep criticising the teams and also Dhoni. Arguably India lost the plot when Rohit Sharma was batting and the run rate dropped. having said that while Bajji or Chawla could have been selected, there is no certainty that they would have performed any better. Bajji bowled well for 1 match. Anyway the english batsmen were like an animal caught in the head lights when confronted with spin. The fact is , Dhoni did as well as he could with the resources that he had on hand. Openers failing is not exactly some thing he could control just like he had not control over the openers, Sachin and laxman failing in the 8 tests last year.. So while Capt bashing come easy, it is just bad luck from india's perspective. All the teams had one very bad day, and T 20 good days are about victories, margin of victory and NRR are as much a function of how well you play and how badly the oposition plays. So do not be over critical

Posted by shantiratnamaj on (October 3, 2012, 5:16 GMT)

IPL does not give the chance for Indian players to play together..so its always going to be tough for them when IPL Indian players play as one for India team. Always 4 forieng players are in the IPL teams - this four slots are given for the top four slots in any IPL team so Indian players don't get exposure in the top roles...so these are reasons for blunders...

Posted by   on (October 3, 2012, 5:12 GMT)

No doubt India played well in the tournamed apart from one match. They handed England and Pakistan quite a thrashing and I believed that India had a chance even against SA to restrict them but it seemed they never believed. Just like Hafeez never gave Ajmal more than one over until 12th against India despite needing wickets, Dhoni somehow avoided Ashwin till 10th when it was obvious that few more early wickets could have changed things. One can always find excuses, but its grabbing the opportunities when it mattered most and on the day it was Pakistan that firmly did that.

Posted by   on (October 3, 2012, 5:02 GMT)

Amazing piece ... And one of my friend (Capt. Meanster) has commented above that PAK was shaky, dude get ur statistics ryt, PAK also won 4 out of 5 Games. Yes we lost to India badly but we won against AUS comfortably and u lost to them badly. We accept our defeat against India unlike MS DHONI who blames rain which is so so pathetic. Accept ur failures and DHONI needs to learn that ...

Posted by   on (October 3, 2012, 4:58 GMT)

West Indies with only 2 wins and 2 losses are in the SF, but India wih 4 wins and only 1 loss is not in SF, how can we refer India as inconsistent??

Posted by sabster on (October 3, 2012, 4:52 GMT)

It is really sad to see that Dhoni a captain of a major team gives lame excuses about the rain as a reason for their loss. It was not a close loss but a major thrashing given by the Aussies. Give the Aussies some credit. They are definitely a better team. The best 4 got in.

Posted by Aatish_Ahire on (October 3, 2012, 4:45 GMT)

Watson was solely responsible for India Exit. As he played well against India & Worse against Pak.

Posted by   on (October 3, 2012, 4:42 GMT)

I think kick out all 30+ players, make Kholi as captain and bring youngster (Rahane,Raydu,Uthppha) in 20-20 from IPL format.

Posted by smjr on (October 3, 2012, 4:32 GMT)

I am from Pakistan. I think India is a great team for the last 7 years or so. They showed fighting qualities both in batting and bowling. Had india got a decent fastbowler of shoaib Akhtar or swing bowler of Asif calibre then they would be very difficult to beat. Spin wise they have already abundance. I think Dhoni is very calm captain but he is not brave captain. After Pakistan beat Australia I feel that Harbajan must play as he troubled SA in number of test matches in crunch situations and in this match (restricting SA under 121) suggest a test match type of field placing and attacking bowling. Also they should start with spin attack. The greatest folly of Dhoni is to introduce Ashwin very late. Also there is a saying that " luck favours the brave" and it is there where India falter. I am happy that Pak enter semi final but I have a feeling that SL will be hard to beat in semi final unless we get rid of Dilshan & Sangakara early.

Posted by oj..cricfan on (October 3, 2012, 4:24 GMT)

Why blame rain for the defeat Mr MSD, who decided to bat first? YOU! So stop the blame game and admit you made tactical error. The whole world knows that we should chase and not defend totals.

Posted by suresh_alagappa on (October 3, 2012, 4:23 GMT)

It is utterly ridiculous to compare India with South Africa at least in this tournament. South Africa have lost all three and India have won two out of three. The pitch conditions played a large factor in all of the matches. And yes without Rain, Australia would not have won that match easily - they would have won but not as easily as they did eventually. There is very little to separate between the top teams in this format. ICC should start introducing the carrying over points from previous round which will help.

Posted by soorajiyer on (October 3, 2012, 4:14 GMT)

I think putting it on bad luck is seriously stupid of us fans. Here are some pointers on why I think captain and coach were responsible. 1. Why did Rohit sharma come in ahead of Raina and Dhoni? 2. Why did Rohit Sharma bowl ahead of Ashwin? 3. There was not a single fielder inside the ring on the leg side, when you know you need to defend 121. 4. Why was Zaheer not given an over around 10th over so, when nobody had no clue about getting Faf out. 5. Faf has two shots (I have watched enough of him in IPL), lofted off drive and heave over midwicket. There were no fielders in those two places when he was batting. 6. What was Rohit Sharma doing when he made 24 off 25 balls. Was there an attempt to let him know he needs to accelerate?

No blame this is on captain and coach. Dont keep blaming the bowlers, yes they are not as good as other teams. But they did what they can to the best of their ability. The same cannot be said about the batting or the captaincy. Sorry Dhoni I think time to go.

Posted by Percy_Fender on (October 3, 2012, 4:14 GMT)

I fully agree with Imam ul haq. This format needs young players not people who have gone past their best. India won in 2007 because of the many youn players. They lost this one because of the so called biggies.

Posted by   on (October 3, 2012, 4:09 GMT)

As a Pakistani I only says that, above written articale is the best to explain the both India & RSA cricket teams. nice to read articale upon these two teams...

Posted by Porky_PigTheToon on (October 3, 2012, 4:00 GMT)

It took combined efforts of 3 teams -Aus, Pak and SA to take India out of the tournament.

Posted by KUMARGIRI on (October 3, 2012, 3:44 GMT)

thank god to see some sensible comments. i am first time satisfied with dhoni's captaincy. just one mistake he made today was hold ashwin too far back and i think raina is a better spinner than rohit. 4 wins out of 5? even sri lanka won just 4 . am disappointed but not angry with our team. at least they did more damage with ball. totally unexpected. now sehwag and gambhir need to go back to basics and come back stronger. give vijay and rahane another chance

Posted by OttawaRocks on (October 3, 2012, 3:43 GMT)

A 2-1 record is nothing to be ashamed about for India. And at the same time, no one can complain about the results of the tournament given each team has chosen to participate in it so congrats to Pakistan and Australia. That said, we can always make our complaints known for changes to be made to future tournaments. First, I've never liked are 3 team groups (as occurred in the first round). I've also witnessed this system used in the CONCACAF Gold Cup tourney and I find it equally stupid. What about the 4 team groups? That I'm good with. The only tweak is that they have games played simultaneously (i.e. Pak vs Aus should have been played simultaneously as Ind vs SA, etc). Finally, I also suggest the ICC do something about rained out games (i.e. replay them maybe?). So far, my fellow North Americans (i.e. non-cricket fans that have been casually intrigued by the game) find this element to be farcical. I would have to concur.

Posted by   on (October 3, 2012, 3:32 GMT)

MANOJ TIWARY is selected as a permanent water supplier for next 5 year in Indian cricket team.

Posted by   on (October 3, 2012, 3:29 GMT)

I liked the penultimate paragraph. Summed up what was wrong with Dhoni's captaincy against SA without ranting too much. Dhoni has sharp cricketing brain, no doubt. And of course he is a very good leader of men. But, too many instinctive decisions that defy logic (like playing Shreesanth in the World cup 2011 final, picking Piyush chawla out of the blue, bowling Rohit before bowling Balaji / Ashwin) and a recent penchant for going on the defensive (saving Ashwin to "win" the game against SA!, not batting himself up the order which is a serious waste of talent) has not helped India.

Posted by Edassery on (October 3, 2012, 3:29 GMT)

I still don't know why they selected Sehwag, Gambhir and Zaheer Khan for T20. These people don't belong to T20 any longer - We need 11 exceptional fielders (not just classy batsmen/bowler) for a T20 team and young legs need to be given preference. Even worse, they were selected when they were in bad form. And Rohit Sharma's eternal selection and Yuvraj's early return still baffles me. Basically selectors spoiled this tournament for India. And don't blame the format. The rules of the format was known in advance and if they had won against Pakistan a couple of overs earlier they would have still entered the semis. They had a chance to do that but last two-three overs in that game were of real slow show by the Indians.

Posted by Anil_Koshy on (October 3, 2012, 3:27 GMT)

India should now drop popular names and take some bold decisions at least in the shorter version of the game, Virender Sehwag does not deserve to be in any side for any format, Gautam Gambhir has been inconsistent, Rohit Sharma never played upto his potential, India is over dependent on Virat Kohli. We should learn from Australia, who are without Ponting and Clarke, still they are a formidable side.

Posted by timohyj on (October 3, 2012, 3:22 GMT)

pakistan were much more inconsistent than india

Posted by jithoosin on (October 3, 2012, 3:04 GMT)

Unnecessarily harsh on India and Dhoni. Comment on selection and tactics are written with hindsight. Also cannot compare SA and India. SA lost all 3 matches.

Posted by 777aditya on (October 3, 2012, 2:48 GMT)

On current form, Shikhar Dhawan, Murali Vijay, and Cheteshwar Pujara deserve a look in - India could do well to drop the non-performing Sehwag, Gambhir, and Raina for a series or two. Your exploits in the past should not be the only criterion to retain your place in the squad. These three players despite being match winners in the past have disappointed no end recently. As for RSA, it is easy to label them chokers, but the fact is that they just got a very difficult group. India and Pakistan are always difficult to beat in Asian conditions. They had a good chance against the Aussies, but they blew it big time. Aussies and Sri Lanka will be the favorites for the final with Pakistan and WI being dark horses. The ideal final can only be between Pakistan and WI - two extremely mercurial teams. Best of luck WI - please win the cup!

Posted by Cpt.Meanster on (October 3, 2012, 2:43 GMT)

Dear Sambit, I agree that both India and SA were scratchy and inconsistent. But barring Australia and SL, the other 2 semi finalists weren't any better. Both WI and Pakistan were scratchy and inconsistent themselves. In fact both of them lost poorly to SL and India respectively. Forget about SA, India won 4 out of their 5 games. What do you say about that ? Such is the nature of T20 and this whole tournament's format that basically EVERY Super 8 match was a MUST WIN game. In India's case, their heavy defeat to Australia is what cost them in the end. Over all they were one of the better teams in this World T20. In spite of having a poor bowling attack, they fared better than the others, bowling out their opposition 4 times in a row. I thought India were extremely unlucky to miss out on a semi final spot. Having said that, both WI and Pakistan earned their spots in the semis and didn't ask for any favours from anybody. So good on them.

Posted by   on (October 3, 2012, 2:40 GMT)

Dhoni's tactics were really astonishing to me. Did not look like he was willing to defend 121, or he wanted to secure a win to leave india with an excuse that we won 4 out of 5 matches, and still we are out of the tournament.

Posted by Vnott on (October 3, 2012, 2:24 GMT)

Sambit is being needlessly harsh on India and Dhoni. Dhoni is a terrible test captain and possibly deserves to be kept out of the test team completely, but 50-over & in T-20 he is a smart captain who knows how to manage his resources well - though one may not agree with all his decisions. With 152 on the board, India had a dream start nabbing Kallis and Amla early. Here Dhoni should have gone for the kill with Ashwin, Yuvraj, Zaheer bowling the next 8 overs taking turns and cutting off the singles...That might have reined in Du Plessis. 2-3 wickets was the only chance India had of keeping SA below 121. Dhoni did seem more intent on winning and possibly ruled out 121 subconsciously, the moment Du Plessis counter- attacked. The one game India lost, rain definitely played a role. In all fairness India may have still lost that game but would have been closer. Overall India did have a OK outing and with a bit of luck may have even won the tournament.

Posted by   on (October 3, 2012, 2:10 GMT)

Excellent summary of the performance of these two teams. Especially pleased with your assessment of the captaincy flaws. In fact I have found many of the teams selection and captaincy to border on the inexplicable. AB's coming in at 5 and 6 is a good example. The West Indies use of Russell at No.3 in their last match (he totals 35 runs for the tourney), SA's continued use of Levi in the opening spot and so on. Mahela from SL has been a breathe of fresh air in this regard. He leads SL in a calm and assured manner, uses his bowlers very intelligently and appears to be always trying to outfox the opposition. By the way, I am ardent West Indian fan. But you just have to respect good leadership.

Posted by   on (October 3, 2012, 1:59 GMT)

good analysis - i think India needs to see why they won the first one - the key was selecting young players who did not fear anything as they were out there to prove their skills. Since then all indian selections for the world cup based on past track and not raw talent. Continuing to select people on past laurels is killing. Als interesting to see none of young guns from IPL were not given an opportunity and some players in the squad were never used continuing the old and the gold. Time to change India

Posted by   on (October 3, 2012, 1:46 GMT)

thank you for such a good article. it was really getting annoying the way some fan were reacting like it was bad luck or somethig that the lost. it was clearly the better team won gone to the semis

Posted by Sanj747 on (October 3, 2012, 1:37 GMT)

The article is spot on. The truth surely hurts but appears Dhoni and De Velliers are yet to come to terms with it.

Posted by Nampally on (October 3, 2012, 1:06 GMT)

To be fair to India, even with much criticised "Weakest bowling" they got 4 out of 5 teams All Out!. No other Gr.2 team had done this.Their only bad game was against the Aussies where they unlukily ended up with a wet ball & outfield due to untimely heavy rain. India had 4 spinners in the side & were just as capable of dismissing the Aussies cheaply as Pakistan did if the wicket was dry. As it happened they had to score fast in their last game against an accurate SA attack. Yuvraj, Sehwag & Kohli all got out trying to force the pace. This restricted India to 151. Dhoni's handling of bowling was OK except for one unnecessary over given to Rohit Sharma @ a cost of 13 runs. It was sheer bad luck that India failed to reach the Semi's. They outplayed Pakistan by a huge margin.You are correct about the batting failure especially of Gambhir,Sehwag & Rohit. It would have been so much better to play with Tiwary instead of Rohit - who plays under the guise of "Talent"- which never showed up!

Posted by cjscanada on (October 3, 2012, 1:03 GMT)

Congratulations to the best four team. I am happy with India's result. They were not seeded to reach the semi's but nearly reached there. I do not see any reason to blame anyone but destiny. It was not meant to be. You are right Sambit, it was not the bowlers but the batsmen who did not deliver. A lot of comments were passed on different permutations after the game. It does not change the equation. At the end the result was satisfactory and what was expected. Every team participates for the same reason, so putting it across SA was good enough as they are a good team. My favourite is WI and Pak or Sri Lanka. I hope the Aussies loose in the semi's.

Posted by abhijeet1in on (October 3, 2012, 1:00 GMT)

"It is the laboratory where international players sharpen their Twenty20 skills. Yet India have failed to reach the final stages of the last three World Twenty20s." - Thats the most baffling thing here about both India and South Africa being out. Players from both teams along with the Australians hog the IPL/CLT20 3 months of the year and yet they are outdone by Pakistan, a team which hasn't played one home game in years and are not even allowed to participate in IPL. I think the reality lies in the fact that while Indian and South Africans players are "sharpening" their skills at IPL spread over 8-9 teams, Pakistan keep playing either as a one team or in much smaller leagues, eventually leading to much better teamwork and understanding of each others game. How can you expect Indian players to turn up and do well when for more than 1/4th of the year they are not even playing as India and the T20 squad is so much different than the one playing in tests or even ODIs.

Posted by   on (October 3, 2012, 0:53 GMT)

wow great article!! enjoyed reading every bit of it, :)))))

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Sambit Bal Editor-in-chief Sambit Bal took to journalism at the age of 19 after realising that he wasn't fit for anything else, and to cricket journalism 14 years later when it dawned on him that it provided the perfect excuse to watch cricket in the office. Among other things he has bowled legspin, occasionally landing the ball in front of the batsman; laid out the comics page of a newspaper; covered crime, urban development and politics; and edited Gentleman, a monthly features magazine. He joined Wisden in 2001 and edited Wisden Asia Cricket and Cricinfo Magazine. He still spends his spare time watching cricket.
Tournament Results
Sri Lanka v West Indies at Colombo (RPS) - Oct 7, 2012
West Indies won by 36 runs
Australia v West Indies at Colombo (RPS) - Oct 5, 2012
West Indies won by 74 runs
Sri Lanka v Pakistan at Colombo (RPS) - Oct 4, 2012
Sri Lanka won by 16 runs
India v South Africa at Colombo (RPS) - Oct 2, 2012
India won by 1 run
Australia v Pakistan at Colombo (RPS) - Oct 2, 2012
Pakistan won by 32 runs
More results »
News | Features Last 3 days
News | Features Last 3 days