ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 / News

India v South Africa, Group B, World Cup 2011, Nagpur

MS Dhoni hits out at batsmen

Sharda Ugra in Nagpur

March 12, 2011

Comments: 377 | Text size: A | A

After India's implosion in Nagpur, MS Dhoni came into the captains' press conference and hit the first question out of the room, into the black sky of Jamtha and all over the headlines. India had just lost their first World Cup match to South Africa by five wickets and Dhoni criticised his batsmen who had made it happen. The team would have been helped greatly had they curbed not their enthusiasm but certainly their instincts today.

India lost nine wickets for 29 to be bowled out for 296, when they were on course for something far bigger. The batsmen "don't need to play for the spectators - they love sixes and fours in India but at the end of the day....," Dhoni said. He spoke calmly, his agitation emerging mostly from his words.

The team, Dhoni said, always talked about a par score on every ground on which it played an ODI and responding to changing on-field situations. India were never able to do that in Nagpur, losing four for 30 in the batting Powerplay. "When you have 270 -280 on board, you go out there and what you want to do is play big shots and crowds always want those big shots. But different people have different roles and responsibilities. You need to bat 50 overs at least. Especially if you've lost two-three wickets in the first 35 overs, you should be able to bat 50 overs." He then added one of the more obvious truths in the game that had escaped the batsmen. "If you play 50 overs," Dhoni said several times in his 10-minute conference, "you get more runs."

The first two partnerships added 267, and it was the breadth of the platform that got the rest of the Indian batsmen going, given the fact that the team knew that 320 was thought of as a par score in Nagpur. "If you want a par score, you then start looking at 350 or 360 and you end up with 40 runs less."

Faf du Plessis attempts to stop a boundary, India v South Africa, Group B, World Cup, Nagpur, March 12, 2011
Batting apart, despite some improvement in India's fielding, South Africa were still better © AFP

Dhoni also said the Indians had struggled to defend their total of 296 because of the size of the VCA stadium affecting the Indians, and the differing standards of fielding between the sides. "I think with one of the bigest grounds in India here, we were tested by South Africa's fast running between the wickets. Most of the fielders got targeted and it won't be the case in some of the grounds which are not very big.

"Fielding was also the difference between the two sides. They fielded brilliantly even though we got off to a good start and had dominated our innings until the 35th or 38th over. But maybe the 15 runs they saved gave them a massive advantage."

Dhoni said he had called for the batting Powerplay (when India began to lose wickets) in order to try and use the last ten overs of the innings. "We wanted to use the batting Powerplay as well as the slog overs after that. If you can do that you carry momentum from the five overs, and sometimes you can score 100 runs in those ten overs."

The result, he said, was more than a disappointment. "It's a big learning curve," Dhoni said. "If you see the England v South Africa match, it just reminds you, that a game doesn't get over till it's over."

Sharda Ugra is senior editor at ESPNcricinfo

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Comments: 377 
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Posted by sr on (March 15, 2011, 15:39 GMT)

Dhoni is good captain as i see, but now a days he is overconfident. Need to replace kohli with suresh raina and get in ashwin as well.Then it is balanced.

Posted by Yusuf on (March 15, 2011, 12:28 GMT)

Mr Dhoni.. One fine question.... If at all you believe in what you speak, then why on earth is Rahul Dravid sitting out ??? Dont you think that he would have been the best man when wickets were tumbling in the matches like England , South Africa, Ireland, Netherland ???

Posted by Dummy4 on (March 15, 2011, 11:56 GMT)

Bad game for India....Batting Powerplays are not neccessarily the overs where the batsman has to score heavily...instead they should be used to dictate terms to the bowling team.... In batting powerplays...most captains bring in der best bowlers.....If that is the case....just play them out at a run a ball...or somethin like that.....keep wickets intact....This way, the best bowlers would have finished a majority of their overs...nd the best batsmen r still dere...If the fielding captains are keepin the best for the last....then batsman can go after them.....It does not make any sense when the batsman goes after the best bowlers nd throw their wickets away!!!!!!

Posted by Shantanu on (March 15, 2011, 9:35 GMT)

Dhonii has taken blame of bowling Nehra and that is good sign. A leader must take blame also as much as he receives the praise for good decisions. Dhoni has a good qualities to become army leader. He is not typical Indians who want to retain chair and blame juniors for every bad decision they take. Much as whole India thinks that Harbhajan should have bowled last over bowling last over by spinneris risky. Saeed Ajaml succeeded in t-20 defending over 20 runs in last over with a lefthander Albie Morkelagainst SA but against Australia came a cropper where a lefthander Mike Hussey tonked him all over the park. Harbhajan has rarely bowled a last over so was a risk as proven Ajamal's case has shown. India must give games to Raina & Ashwin. Pathan was quoted as winning mathces for India from any position but hasnt done anything of note so far.He must have realised that cricket is not simple. Rains can be played for him.

Posted by Niyas on (March 15, 2011, 8:10 GMT)

My Team for Very Next Match 1. Sachin, 2. Sehwag, 3. Gambhir, 4. Yuvraj, 5. Dhoni, 6. Y.Pathan, 7. Ashwin, 8. Bhaji, 9. Zahir, 10. Sreesanth, 11.Munaf

(5 Batsman, 5 Bowler, 1 All rounder)

Posted by Dummy4 on (March 15, 2011, 8:04 GMT)

India is at the brink of big disaster with 7 points and depending lot from other teams performance. According to a silent survey, Bangladesh has now the ability to defeat South Africa in their last match. At the same time Kemar Roach can blow the batting strength of Indian side. If this happens and England beat WI with a big margin, it will simply kill the possibility to play in QF for India. BCCI and MS Dhoni should think about it.

Posted by Dummy4 on (March 15, 2011, 6:55 GMT)

Dhoni you are the best and you will bring the world cup to India and stand proudly with Kapil sir

Posted by Dummy4 on (March 15, 2011, 6:39 GMT)

when u can give chance 2 nehra ,munaf,chawla, Y cant u d it with Sreeshant and ASHWN??. HERE is the last Comment. IF india once again go with the same team.. (MUNAf/NEHra,) india vlll lose the NExt match/ BEc they are not the attacking Bowler.. they play defensive. and its veryy difficult to india. to stop other players .fromm their target..

Posted by Dummy4 on (March 15, 2011, 6:37 GMT)

Dhoni was well indian team captain

Posted by Dummy4 on (March 15, 2011, 6:33 GMT)

Dhoni was all times major mistakes for team selection. chawla is not played Indian team there was lose game in all time chawla bowling.In batting order change was not good gaming so don't change batting order Yousuf is coiming fourth place is not suitable in 6 place Yousuf as well.in all time batting line was changing all time all cup we lose

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