Ind v Pak, Champions Trophy, Group A, Centurion September 26, 2009

We were three bowlers short - Dhoni

The real reasons India's defeat was that the bowlers leaked too many singles in the middle overs
29

It couldn't go on for ever, India's freakish dominance over Pakistan in world events, and it was no disgrace in losing to a team that was better on the day. But the match was closer than the scoreline suggests and while it would be tempting to lay the blame on the three mindless moments while India were batting, the real story was elsewhere.

But let's get the sub-plot out of the way. Gautam Gambhir batted out of his skin and gave it away. Was he too pumped up for his own good? Did the Pakistanis get to him? When the bat was doing all the talk, what insanity to start gesticulating wildly with the handle? And what was he doing charging down the wicket for what would have, at best, been a high-risk single when fours and sixes seemed the natural order? And pray, why didn't he put in a dive?

Brain freeze two: In plain disregard of common sense, Virat Kohli, the young man who some consider the future of Indian batting, decides to take on Shahid Afridi and the man on the long-off boundary and lofts the ball straight to him. India were then 126 for 2 off 21.2 overs.

The final act. Rahul Dravid, the last man standing, eases the ball to deep cover and completes a comfortable two. Harbhajan Singh now wants a third. Then he doesn't. Now Dravid wants it. Harbhajan is now persuaded. But no, the ball is on its way now. Dravid turns back, but it's too late, and worse he seems to have pulled something while stretching and he crumples to the ground as the Pakistanis gather a few feet away from him to celebrate. A fan runs on to the field with the Pakistani flag. Soon they would be swamping the ground.

India lost by 54 runs. But 31 balls were still to be bowled. MS Dhoni put India's failed chase down to the loss of too many wickets. It was in stark contrast to Pakistan's calculated, controlled, polished and smooth building of a monumental score.

But it was also true that India let them. Imran Nazir and Karman Akmal had started sensationally. But they were gone by the ninth over, and between the eighth and 13th over, only six runs were scored. But once Mohammad Yousuf arrived, and India were obliged bring on their part-timers and the field spread, runs were impossible to stop.

At the press conference, Dhoni started by holding the batsmen, including himself, responsible for the defeat. But the questions about the bowlers persisted, and once Dhoni started on the subject, he was damning and he held little back.

"Between the 30th and the 42nd over, we gave away nearly 100 runs. That's too many runs when the field is spread. That was tough. I have never seen so many runs scored backward of point. As a captain you can only set the field, you can't bowl yourself. I think the Pakistan bowlers exploited the conditions really well. The spinners, the fast bowlers, they bowled in the areas where they had fielders.

"Losing the toss was a blessing in disguise. Because when we bowled up, it was tough for them and they played a few shots in the air. But we were quite consistent in bowling short."

Dhoni started by holding the batsmen, including himself, responsible for the defeat. But the questions about the bowlers persisted, and once Dhoni started on the subject, he was damning and he held little back

Dhoni admitted his bowlers had been fooled into bowling short by the practice wickets in Johannesburg, where the balls rose sharply. "The conditions were different here, and we should have adapted. It's about adaptability and you have to be smart at the international level."

But did he miss a fifth bowler? "At times I felt I was three bowlers short," he shot back. There were times, he said, he didn't know who go to or what fields to set. "Wherever I put a fielder, the ball went elsewhere."

There was only one period, between the eighth and 13th over, when Ashish Nehra and Ishant Shrama bowled the line and length the pitch demanded. But in the end only Nehra emerged with credit, and four wickets for his efforts.

RP Singh started by bowling too full and was driven for two fours, which prompted him to bowl too short and be hit for two more. Ishant's first ball strayed on Younis Khan's pads and the fourth was short and wide. On his return spell, he bowled three crass long hops outside the off stump, all of which were gratefully converted to fours by Shoaib Malik.

And Harbhajan - he had a shocker - straying both in line and length, and was deftly and mercilessly toyed around by two batsmen who were not afraid to play against the turn. But even Malik was puzzled that he wasn't brought in earlier.

Pakistan were 65 for 3 when the Powerplays ended, and instead of going for the kill, Dhoni chose to bring in his part-timers, including Virat Kohli, and allowed Malik, who couldn't get even a single away, to then settle down, and Yousuf to get going right from the start. When Harbhajan was finally introduced, in the 26th over, Pakistan had reached 108.

Dhoni had his reasons for holding back his premier bowler. "When you bowl Harbhajan with a part-timer, the batsmen look to score from the other end and play out Harbhajan. We wanted to force the batsmen to play shots against him."

Would he have needed to do that if he had another bowling option?

India are not out of the tournament yet. But they have only a day to gather their wits and reassess their options. The No.1 rank at the ICC table flatters them at the moment. Their immediate task is to avoid slipping to No.5 or less in this tournament.

Sambit Bal is the editor of Cricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Ziyada on September 28, 2009, 19:04 GMT

    Well , Pakistan stick to the task and played simple yet effective cricket and so there was no answer.The amount of talent Pakistan generates with the population of 16 crore is credible and unlike our neigbouring country with the population of 100000000 crore but just dont have any reputable genunine fast bowler.The amount of cricket pllayed in india is very huge but the reputable fast bowlers are not there.IF ASHISH NEHRA and Ishant shamrma is your weapon then dhoni need miracles from SACHIN the great to perfrom:) and take all responsibilty

  • Hassan.Farooqi on September 28, 2009, 12:36 GMT

    It is pathetic that while Pakistan fans praised Yousuf, the Indians failed to praise Dravid. They both played the same type of innings. While Pakistan never mentioned they missed Shoaib, Asif, and Razzaq, Indians were whining about the loss of their three players.

    Maybe that is the problem with India. They rely too much on their star players and forget that cricket is a team game.

  • LeoSaqib on September 28, 2009, 6:26 GMT

    I am Pakistani and I know my Indians friends are hurt badly but I think there is no need to be panicked. India is definitely great team but badly marred by the absence of too many good players. Let me remind you V.Sehwag who made mockery of best bowlers ,including likes of S.Akhtar,many times.If they would Z.Khan and Irfan Pathan,situation could have been intirely different, Virat Kohli may be a talented young gun but he is hardly replacement for maverick like Youraj. These absentees are sorely missed and might cost India early exit from Champions Trophy,but every team faces this kind of lows and should rise strongly again, hopefully in near future.Best of luck to India against Aussies.Hope to meet them again in finals and expecting another nerve wrecking show down between arch rivals.

  • zjav on September 28, 2009, 5:54 GMT

    India should have gone for the kill once Younis was dismissed, instead Dhoni brought his part time bowlers (example of defensive strategy). Shoaib Malik was getting runs on the cut shot and Dhoni has not placed a fielder to stop boundaries. Nehra pointed out this and placed a fielder on deep point to prevent boundaries on his bowling. I think Dhoni should have sent Raina at Kohli's place. Dhoni should set a proper batting order. All in all Dhoni was not organised or might have forgot his planning.

  • avilanchee on September 28, 2009, 5:12 GMT

    I felt three batsmen short Mr Dhoni . And wat a funny shot to get out . Appreciate that. I advise u to grow u r hair long again :P.

  • knowledge_eater on September 28, 2009, 3:07 GMT

    Every Team try to find, especially Captains try to find "ohh i should have done this, i should have done that" but bottom line is sometimes you can't control everything. Thats why there no team in the world, especially no ODI team should be called number 1 or number 2 or what ever.... as long as you perform better and do least mistakes on a day as a TEAM (the word team is very imp.) you can beat any kind of team. As a saying in one of the indian traditional fastival called" Dashera", which is today (ironically). The saying states that "the horse didn't run on day of Dashera". That means it was the day to perform and as a team indians didn't perform. Look at the England and now Newzeland's comeback. They perform on their day, it doesn't matter how dangerous the SA and Srilanka look on paper. Just learn from mistakes, stop pointing fingers here and there. You perform as a team. Period.

  • jeet19800 on September 28, 2009, 2:42 GMT

    Coming back to y'day match, its time we should try Amit mishra, Manoj tiwari, Pragyan Ojha,LR shukla n other new talents, at least once in a while. i think Mishra & ojha both are better bowlers than what harbhajan was when he was 10-20 matches old. Its also time to understand that "Looking back" to Tendulakar or Dravid might work as a temporary option to sustain but its not really evolutionary. How about, taking "Seriously-fast" bowling seriously? Whatever is happening at MRF pace academy and all? With the kind of bowling talent we have, we need a reserve of 7-8 pacers and 4-5 spinners to choose from in every cup and series. Let the bowlers in peak form play, and pray for a decent international class performance from them. Its time to Go further ahead with our cricket, its management, its innovation & professionalism. Jai Ho!!

  • jeet19800 on September 28, 2009, 2:40 GMT

    The issue is to expect this team, these thought-processes, this management, to win world cups for us consistently. We are doomed by making of Gods out of these talented but normal players by International standards. We are a reasonably good team, and so we get reasonably good results. To leap in to the league of - Australian team of its peak or Pakistan at its explosive best under Imran Khan or West-indies of great old times, we need to go ahead in terms of our cricketing management and processes. We did that few years back and results are there for everyone to see. We came in to top-3 teams group from top-5. we are now winning matches abroad and topping few ICC rankings.

  • jeet19800 on September 28, 2009, 2:34 GMT

    England has beaten SA, NZ has beaten SL and Pakistan has beaten India. Noone would have put in his money on these results before the starting of Champions trophy. As usual we are ready to be cynical about the defeat. But we need to hold on for a day more, as we also dont stand a very good chance against Australia and that would mean Ba-bye for us. So am i heart-broken with Team's preformance being an indian. NOT really. If you look at the results and team's performance realistically. We are doing as good as this team is capable of doing given the circumstances. A RP singh is not exactly a Waqar Yunis, and Ishant can never be an Imran Khan and harbhajan is not and will never be in the league of Murali or Warne. The Dravid and Tendulakr of Yore is still playing like the way they have been playing for almost 2 decades. MS Dhoni is arguably the best guy we can have on the helm and Raina, pathan & Kohli is no doubt talented. Continue..

  • sobank on September 27, 2009, 23:39 GMT

    Consider that at around 30th over in indian innings, dew factor kicked in. Afridi couldn't even grip the ball and constantly complaining on his walk back to start after the delivery. So no spin or movement from the ball and India was at 203/4 on 34. All they had to do is get another 100 out of 15 overs when the ball is not moving and coming to bat. They did not. Three of their good batsmen got out. In a time when 300 is a normal thing in a match, perhaps indian bowlers did the job and it were the indian batsmen who did not perform.

  • Ziyada on September 28, 2009, 19:04 GMT

    Well , Pakistan stick to the task and played simple yet effective cricket and so there was no answer.The amount of talent Pakistan generates with the population of 16 crore is credible and unlike our neigbouring country with the population of 100000000 crore but just dont have any reputable genunine fast bowler.The amount of cricket pllayed in india is very huge but the reputable fast bowlers are not there.IF ASHISH NEHRA and Ishant shamrma is your weapon then dhoni need miracles from SACHIN the great to perfrom:) and take all responsibilty

  • Hassan.Farooqi on September 28, 2009, 12:36 GMT

    It is pathetic that while Pakistan fans praised Yousuf, the Indians failed to praise Dravid. They both played the same type of innings. While Pakistan never mentioned they missed Shoaib, Asif, and Razzaq, Indians were whining about the loss of their three players.

    Maybe that is the problem with India. They rely too much on their star players and forget that cricket is a team game.

  • LeoSaqib on September 28, 2009, 6:26 GMT

    I am Pakistani and I know my Indians friends are hurt badly but I think there is no need to be panicked. India is definitely great team but badly marred by the absence of too many good players. Let me remind you V.Sehwag who made mockery of best bowlers ,including likes of S.Akhtar,many times.If they would Z.Khan and Irfan Pathan,situation could have been intirely different, Virat Kohli may be a talented young gun but he is hardly replacement for maverick like Youraj. These absentees are sorely missed and might cost India early exit from Champions Trophy,but every team faces this kind of lows and should rise strongly again, hopefully in near future.Best of luck to India against Aussies.Hope to meet them again in finals and expecting another nerve wrecking show down between arch rivals.

  • zjav on September 28, 2009, 5:54 GMT

    India should have gone for the kill once Younis was dismissed, instead Dhoni brought his part time bowlers (example of defensive strategy). Shoaib Malik was getting runs on the cut shot and Dhoni has not placed a fielder to stop boundaries. Nehra pointed out this and placed a fielder on deep point to prevent boundaries on his bowling. I think Dhoni should have sent Raina at Kohli's place. Dhoni should set a proper batting order. All in all Dhoni was not organised or might have forgot his planning.

  • avilanchee on September 28, 2009, 5:12 GMT

    I felt three batsmen short Mr Dhoni . And wat a funny shot to get out . Appreciate that. I advise u to grow u r hair long again :P.

  • knowledge_eater on September 28, 2009, 3:07 GMT

    Every Team try to find, especially Captains try to find "ohh i should have done this, i should have done that" but bottom line is sometimes you can't control everything. Thats why there no team in the world, especially no ODI team should be called number 1 or number 2 or what ever.... as long as you perform better and do least mistakes on a day as a TEAM (the word team is very imp.) you can beat any kind of team. As a saying in one of the indian traditional fastival called" Dashera", which is today (ironically). The saying states that "the horse didn't run on day of Dashera". That means it was the day to perform and as a team indians didn't perform. Look at the England and now Newzeland's comeback. They perform on their day, it doesn't matter how dangerous the SA and Srilanka look on paper. Just learn from mistakes, stop pointing fingers here and there. You perform as a team. Period.

  • jeet19800 on September 28, 2009, 2:42 GMT

    Coming back to y'day match, its time we should try Amit mishra, Manoj tiwari, Pragyan Ojha,LR shukla n other new talents, at least once in a while. i think Mishra & ojha both are better bowlers than what harbhajan was when he was 10-20 matches old. Its also time to understand that "Looking back" to Tendulakar or Dravid might work as a temporary option to sustain but its not really evolutionary. How about, taking "Seriously-fast" bowling seriously? Whatever is happening at MRF pace academy and all? With the kind of bowling talent we have, we need a reserve of 7-8 pacers and 4-5 spinners to choose from in every cup and series. Let the bowlers in peak form play, and pray for a decent international class performance from them. Its time to Go further ahead with our cricket, its management, its innovation & professionalism. Jai Ho!!

  • jeet19800 on September 28, 2009, 2:40 GMT

    The issue is to expect this team, these thought-processes, this management, to win world cups for us consistently. We are doomed by making of Gods out of these talented but normal players by International standards. We are a reasonably good team, and so we get reasonably good results. To leap in to the league of - Australian team of its peak or Pakistan at its explosive best under Imran Khan or West-indies of great old times, we need to go ahead in terms of our cricketing management and processes. We did that few years back and results are there for everyone to see. We came in to top-3 teams group from top-5. we are now winning matches abroad and topping few ICC rankings.

  • jeet19800 on September 28, 2009, 2:34 GMT

    England has beaten SA, NZ has beaten SL and Pakistan has beaten India. Noone would have put in his money on these results before the starting of Champions trophy. As usual we are ready to be cynical about the defeat. But we need to hold on for a day more, as we also dont stand a very good chance against Australia and that would mean Ba-bye for us. So am i heart-broken with Team's preformance being an indian. NOT really. If you look at the results and team's performance realistically. We are doing as good as this team is capable of doing given the circumstances. A RP singh is not exactly a Waqar Yunis, and Ishant can never be an Imran Khan and harbhajan is not and will never be in the league of Murali or Warne. The Dravid and Tendulakr of Yore is still playing like the way they have been playing for almost 2 decades. MS Dhoni is arguably the best guy we can have on the helm and Raina, pathan & Kohli is no doubt talented. Continue..

  • sobank on September 27, 2009, 23:39 GMT

    Consider that at around 30th over in indian innings, dew factor kicked in. Afridi couldn't even grip the ball and constantly complaining on his walk back to start after the delivery. So no spin or movement from the ball and India was at 203/4 on 34. All they had to do is get another 100 out of 15 overs when the ball is not moving and coming to bat. They did not. Three of their good batsmen got out. In a time when 300 is a normal thing in a match, perhaps indian bowlers did the job and it were the indian batsmen who did not perform.

  • mr.cruizy on September 27, 2009, 23:25 GMT

    first of all this article is taking away all the credit from the pakistani players which is totaly unfair.. secondly, if we start considering the IFFs and BUTs then why not start with pakistan. why not say IF shahid afridi had played the last five overs they would have scored above 350? IF pakistan had NOT bolwed so many FREE HIT deliveries ( 8 by my counts-all of them for FOUR) india would have burried their chances earlier on...

    i mean comon u r a journalist and you should b fair to both sides. i agree india had their chances with gambhir, raina and dravid but look at the total..it says 300+ and is it that easy to chase? dont u think that at some stage u r going to lose wickets and u r going to get exposed? dont u think the oposition will come out with a trick or two? dont u think that run-rate will eventualy hunt u down?

    so lets be realistic about the game.it is as big win as the score line says.it is a big win and its never a close one by any mean.there were SOME moments though

  • anees464 on September 27, 2009, 22:56 GMT

    I agree with all of you my brothers&sisters...but With hvng 3 match winners short it is very tough situation for our captain(Dhoni). May be he might have taken some bad decisions. Hope he will cope up with the situation and learn very soon. This is the time we should stay with him as well as with our team, as this is the same team which has done considerably well in the last 2yrs by winning most of the tournaments in which they participated, win/loss is the part & parcel of game. We cannot judge a team/players with just 1 win/loss, it all depends on situation which in-turn gives them experience. So pray for them..Insha Allah they will win their next game...Aameen...!!! Sorry, if I have hurt feelings of any 1 of you...

  • khicoach on September 27, 2009, 21:41 GMT

    I'm a Pakistan fan. Going into the match, it was plain to see that Pakistan had the better bowling, and India the better batting (though weakened considerably with the absence of Yuvraj & Sehwag). However, after the intial loss of 3 wickets, and the defensive tactics of Malik & Yousuf, once they opened up, the Indian bowling looked miserably inadequate. I have never understood the hype that surrounds the Indian bowling - it has never been quite world class. Yesterday, it looked worse than amateurish. More than once, I was shocked not by the quality of the shots that Malik & Yousuf played, but by the mindlessly numb bowling by Harbhajan & RP and the really silly run-outs of Gambhir & Dravid. If India plans to win the remaining games with a similar quality of bowling, they need to think again. Pakistan, on the other hand, seem to have a very balanced combination. If only we can fire consistently, I am confident we can go all the way yet again. Insha Alla

  • mcaiyzs2 on September 27, 2009, 19:24 GMT

    if India were 3 bowlers short, why did he play so many batsmen? Excuses, excuses from India. Pakistan showed they cannot be ignored. they were the better team and had the better balance. Dhoni, its time for you to eat humble pie and praise the Pakistanis for outplaying your team.

  • khizerespn on September 27, 2009, 18:43 GMT

    Pakistan team on the way 2 lifting 2nd ICC trophy in a yr & has sent a strong msg to BCCI & Cricket Gods in India that they ld play their role in rehabilitating cricket in & 4 Pakistan much the way ECB, Aussies, Lankans, Kiwis & Proteas ve been trying 2 do, whereas BCCI has been strangling it 4 Pakis. Come on Manohar, Pawar & Lorgat execute ur responsibility towards the game & stop just thinking about making money.

  • mishad on September 27, 2009, 18:40 GMT

    I think this is all about luck and strategy. Luck never help India. India lost Sehwag, Zaheer and Yuvraaj. Dhoni loss the toss. Ghambhir run out. Sachin seem to be injured. You can not do anything when luck never help you. I don't know why Indian selectors picked Virat Kohli. Where are Rohit Sharma, Robin Uthappa, Manish Pandey (who had scored 114 from 73 in IPL), Mohammed Kaif? It seems to be all uncombined in Team India XI. Now wish all the best to Indian Team. Hope they win next 2. And also hope Sachin Tendulkar plays a master class innings. All the best.

  • fanindia on September 27, 2009, 18:25 GMT

    I agree with Stingrayopp. ODI is all about playing well on the day. There can be a off day for anybody. And we shouldnt forget that India were playing without 3 of their premier players. We can find some positive in this drubbing too. The batters didnt gave up as was the case in 90s once sachin gets out. gambhir raina and dravid tried out of thier skins to reach this target. After all bad bowling India came back well in last 4-5 overs to restrict them to 302 when 320 looked imminent. So i believe in this unit to give a good fight against aussies. Best of luck to them against aussies.

  • honestno2 on September 27, 2009, 18:17 GMT

    hahaha what can i say.......To all Indians who are constantly saying that they were beaten jus because india were missing few of their first choice players thorough injuries......ok Agree,but what about when india have beaten Pakistan so many times when Pakistan were missing not one two but almost Dozens of players just because of ICL..... So bottom Line is-->Stop Carrying and Accept that PAKISTAN IS A CHAMPION and ya we are ahead ,far ahead when it comes to Cricket and ya also Hockey...regards

  • Graeme_Pollock on September 27, 2009, 17:34 GMT

    Dhoni can't be excused for not being more aggressive with his field settings and bowling changes. After Pak were 65/3, he should have been way more aggressive than he was, and gone in for the kill with close catchers. Instead, he appeared content to give away 4-5 singles an over and the occasional boundary. That was the most critical mistake which cost India the game. You have to be super-aggressive to win high-pressure Ind-Pak matches. The first team to go on the defensive is the one that loses. This is now a real test of Dhoni's captaincy skills - three leading players injured and a side low on both skill and confidence. As an Indian fan, I have never understood India's obsession with batting. No side can EVER hope to become number 1 and stay there without a potent bowling attack. Potency does not mean 5 ordinary bowlers. Quality, not quantity is the key here. You CANNOT give away 300 every other game and expect your batting, however strong, to chase it down.

  • anuragpatil on September 27, 2009, 17:09 GMT

    My team for tomorrow's India Vs. Australia:

    1. Sachin Tendulkar 2. Gautam Gambhir 3. Rahul Dravid 4. Mahendra Singh Dhoni 5. Suresh Raina 6. Yusuf Pathan 7. Abhishek Nayar 8. Harbhajan Singh 9. Pravin Kumar 10. Ishant Sharma 11. Ashish Nehra

    If all rounder Abhishek Nayar is taken Dhoni could also take Yusuf Pathan instead of Amit Mishra to strengthen batting if he wants. In that case Tendualkar, Nayar, Raina, and Pathan can bowl 10 overs of fifth bowler.

  • AvidCricFan on September 27, 2009, 13:21 GMT

    India will not be successful if we are not dealing with nonperformers in the team. Yusuf Pathan has failed miserably in one day format averaging less than 25 in 30 ODIs. RP Singh has been mediocre as a bowler. Why are such poor performers persisted?

  • PrinczTigers on September 27, 2009, 12:30 GMT

    I dont condone Dhoni's decision to bring in part timers in yesterday's match, but given the circumstances, any captain would be tempted to get rid of his 5th bowler's quota, and it is unfortunate that Bhajji had one more of his "worst" days y'day. I just want to say that on paper too, Pak looked a more balanced team at the start of the match, keeping in mind the recent form, and added to fact that India didnt seize the crucial moments, as they have normally done in recent times, I would put that down to lack of belief which subconsciously has creeped in, due 2 lack of 3 premier players all at one time, so plz keep the faith and dont mock them and keep pulling them down, its tough but the team needs to fight and believe in themselves and lift their games, esp the bowlers, as they have 2 win everything frm here 2 make it 2 the semis, and Kudos to Pakistan, they were better than team India y'day, who knows what wld've happend if India played a full strength team, but thats all conjecture.

  • PrinczTigers on September 27, 2009, 12:20 GMT

    I think journos like you are the ones to wax eloquent and go gaga if India wins and criticize them if they lose. You start off on the write note, saying that India lost to the better team. Keep in mind that India is the No.1 team in ODIs today because it has atleast been one of the best team in the past 2 years in ODIs, they have won series' home and away and the rating reflects that good work over a period of time. We should all realize and admit the fact that the team that is on the park in this tournament is not the same, it misses out Sehwag, Zaheer and especially Yuvraj, the last case being the most crucial, as it has disrupted the bowling combinations much more than it adds to the might of the batting, in fact, Dhoni has time and again mentioned that he felt like he is playing with 3 bowlers, as it is natural that one of the bowlers goes for runs early, and the captain is left tearing his hair. Contd...

  • bilalifyful on September 27, 2009, 10:10 GMT

    I think only India could have come close to the total that Pakistan had posted. And eventhough Dhoni will now be blamed for his captaincy and all, but i believe he isnt to be blamed entirely. He introduced part timers early in order to get a few cheap overs away, because at that the Malik and Co. were literally blocking anything and everything that came their way, a strategy i dont understand.

    I dont think the part timers are to be blamed, because harbhajan gave away more runs than Pathan.

  • SEZR on September 27, 2009, 10:08 GMT

    Perhaps all articles should clearly show which team the author supports. Not for this one as it is quite obvious. This is more of a lament on what happened rather than a detached analysis. Some arrogance added for good measure: What is this "freakish dominance in world events" mentioned in the first sentence? Do Pakistani fans really "swamp" the ground?

  • AliOnline on September 27, 2009, 9:50 GMT

    "Wherever I put a fielder, the ball went elsewhere." : from my point of view, this isn't an error by Dhoni, but it just shows how talented and experienced Mohammad Yousuf and Shoaib Malik are, that they can always find the gaps.

    "Losing the toss was a blessing in disguise. Because when we bowled up, it was tough for them and they played a few shots in the air. But we were quite consistent in bowling short." : Dhoni points out that batting second was never difficult. If you saw the match, Raina hit Malik for 3 consecutive boundaries including a Six. That proved that batting was possible, the ball was coming on to the bat. India simply failed because of silly running and poor shot selection.

    Well done Pakistan! Pakistan ZINDABAD!!!

  • ABP235 on September 27, 2009, 9:23 GMT

    Gambhir helped us to dream of this victory at one stage and then he madly threw it away. India still had the opportunity when Virat Kohli threw it away. While fielding earlier, even if he had given 50% attention to how Malik & Yousuf scored only at 4 runs per over till the 30th over, Virat would not have thrown it away. Then there was this strange case where Bhajji did not offer his wicket to keep Dravid in, because, Dravid was the best bet to convert those power play overs knowing fairly well how he had batted in the IPL T20 and that he was so well set. Dhoni forgot one man while bowling - Suresh Raina. Why? MSD alone would know. I wont even go to mention the possibility of Sachin's occasional leg breaks. These should have been tried when MSD's fast men forgot how to adapt on a belter.

  • jayant_chauhan on September 27, 2009, 8:23 GMT

    Whatever reason Dhoni has for the match, there was lack of commitment and weak captaincy in the field.

  • Stingrayopp on September 27, 2009, 8:22 GMT

    Sorry, Mr. Dhoni, I could not agree with you. There were some severe errors done by you. You should not had gone to bat No.4/5. Suresh Raina should had gone in replace of you. And please Mr. Dhoni I want to say as a Pakistani Fan that Pakistan could have scored easily 320/325. But, your pacers in the eleventh hour had made tremendous job. Don't blame your bowlers, every specialists, experienced bowlers of any classified teams can make some errors, can bowl miserable deliveries which they would not expect to. It is true that Harbajhan delivered much more juicy bowling outside the off stump. Sachin Tendulkar should have been given chance to bowl to make something right for Indians, but, it had not been done by Dhoni. And in batting section, Rahul Dravid has furious laziness tendency to make his team-mates run-outs while batting at crucial stage. Finally, Pakistan Batsmen especially Shoaib malik & Muhammad Yousuf had palyed outstanding innings like real thrilling.

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • Stingrayopp on September 27, 2009, 8:22 GMT

    Sorry, Mr. Dhoni, I could not agree with you. There were some severe errors done by you. You should not had gone to bat No.4/5. Suresh Raina should had gone in replace of you. And please Mr. Dhoni I want to say as a Pakistani Fan that Pakistan could have scored easily 320/325. But, your pacers in the eleventh hour had made tremendous job. Don't blame your bowlers, every specialists, experienced bowlers of any classified teams can make some errors, can bowl miserable deliveries which they would not expect to. It is true that Harbajhan delivered much more juicy bowling outside the off stump. Sachin Tendulkar should have been given chance to bowl to make something right for Indians, but, it had not been done by Dhoni. And in batting section, Rahul Dravid has furious laziness tendency to make his team-mates run-outs while batting at crucial stage. Finally, Pakistan Batsmen especially Shoaib malik & Muhammad Yousuf had palyed outstanding innings like real thrilling.

  • jayant_chauhan on September 27, 2009, 8:23 GMT

    Whatever reason Dhoni has for the match, there was lack of commitment and weak captaincy in the field.

  • ABP235 on September 27, 2009, 9:23 GMT

    Gambhir helped us to dream of this victory at one stage and then he madly threw it away. India still had the opportunity when Virat Kohli threw it away. While fielding earlier, even if he had given 50% attention to how Malik & Yousuf scored only at 4 runs per over till the 30th over, Virat would not have thrown it away. Then there was this strange case where Bhajji did not offer his wicket to keep Dravid in, because, Dravid was the best bet to convert those power play overs knowing fairly well how he had batted in the IPL T20 and that he was so well set. Dhoni forgot one man while bowling - Suresh Raina. Why? MSD alone would know. I wont even go to mention the possibility of Sachin's occasional leg breaks. These should have been tried when MSD's fast men forgot how to adapt on a belter.

  • AliOnline on September 27, 2009, 9:50 GMT

    "Wherever I put a fielder, the ball went elsewhere." : from my point of view, this isn't an error by Dhoni, but it just shows how talented and experienced Mohammad Yousuf and Shoaib Malik are, that they can always find the gaps.

    "Losing the toss was a blessing in disguise. Because when we bowled up, it was tough for them and they played a few shots in the air. But we were quite consistent in bowling short." : Dhoni points out that batting second was never difficult. If you saw the match, Raina hit Malik for 3 consecutive boundaries including a Six. That proved that batting was possible, the ball was coming on to the bat. India simply failed because of silly running and poor shot selection.

    Well done Pakistan! Pakistan ZINDABAD!!!

  • SEZR on September 27, 2009, 10:08 GMT

    Perhaps all articles should clearly show which team the author supports. Not for this one as it is quite obvious. This is more of a lament on what happened rather than a detached analysis. Some arrogance added for good measure: What is this "freakish dominance in world events" mentioned in the first sentence? Do Pakistani fans really "swamp" the ground?

  • bilalifyful on September 27, 2009, 10:10 GMT

    I think only India could have come close to the total that Pakistan had posted. And eventhough Dhoni will now be blamed for his captaincy and all, but i believe he isnt to be blamed entirely. He introduced part timers early in order to get a few cheap overs away, because at that the Malik and Co. were literally blocking anything and everything that came their way, a strategy i dont understand.

    I dont think the part timers are to be blamed, because harbhajan gave away more runs than Pathan.

  • PrinczTigers on September 27, 2009, 12:20 GMT

    I think journos like you are the ones to wax eloquent and go gaga if India wins and criticize them if they lose. You start off on the write note, saying that India lost to the better team. Keep in mind that India is the No.1 team in ODIs today because it has atleast been one of the best team in the past 2 years in ODIs, they have won series' home and away and the rating reflects that good work over a period of time. We should all realize and admit the fact that the team that is on the park in this tournament is not the same, it misses out Sehwag, Zaheer and especially Yuvraj, the last case being the most crucial, as it has disrupted the bowling combinations much more than it adds to the might of the batting, in fact, Dhoni has time and again mentioned that he felt like he is playing with 3 bowlers, as it is natural that one of the bowlers goes for runs early, and the captain is left tearing his hair. Contd...

  • PrinczTigers on September 27, 2009, 12:30 GMT

    I dont condone Dhoni's decision to bring in part timers in yesterday's match, but given the circumstances, any captain would be tempted to get rid of his 5th bowler's quota, and it is unfortunate that Bhajji had one more of his "worst" days y'day. I just want to say that on paper too, Pak looked a more balanced team at the start of the match, keeping in mind the recent form, and added to fact that India didnt seize the crucial moments, as they have normally done in recent times, I would put that down to lack of belief which subconsciously has creeped in, due 2 lack of 3 premier players all at one time, so plz keep the faith and dont mock them and keep pulling them down, its tough but the team needs to fight and believe in themselves and lift their games, esp the bowlers, as they have 2 win everything frm here 2 make it 2 the semis, and Kudos to Pakistan, they were better than team India y'day, who knows what wld've happend if India played a full strength team, but thats all conjecture.

  • AvidCricFan on September 27, 2009, 13:21 GMT

    India will not be successful if we are not dealing with nonperformers in the team. Yusuf Pathan has failed miserably in one day format averaging less than 25 in 30 ODIs. RP Singh has been mediocre as a bowler. Why are such poor performers persisted?

  • anuragpatil on September 27, 2009, 17:09 GMT

    My team for tomorrow's India Vs. Australia:

    1. Sachin Tendulkar 2. Gautam Gambhir 3. Rahul Dravid 4. Mahendra Singh Dhoni 5. Suresh Raina 6. Yusuf Pathan 7. Abhishek Nayar 8. Harbhajan Singh 9. Pravin Kumar 10. Ishant Sharma 11. Ashish Nehra

    If all rounder Abhishek Nayar is taken Dhoni could also take Yusuf Pathan instead of Amit Mishra to strengthen batting if he wants. In that case Tendualkar, Nayar, Raina, and Pathan can bowl 10 overs of fifth bowler.